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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Archer Farms Maple Trail Mix

Maple's a good fall flavor. Along with pumpkin and apple, it's one of the most autumnal things you can eat. Maplicious.

This trail mix is pretty good, but it could easily be even better. How, you ask? By putting way fewer "cinnamon cookies" in the bag and adding a lot more nuts.

At first, the cinnamon cookies seem okay. They're vaguely cinnamony, crunchy, and not unlike the "graham bites" in the Rudolph's Mix we looked at two years back. Their flavor is very similar and their appearance and texture are nearly identical. They just don't bring as much to the mix as any of the other ingredients, and they take up way too much space in the bag. I even started picking them out and putting them in another container to save for...I don't know...feeding to the squirrels?

The "cinnamon-flavored pretzel balls" are pretty interesting. I think they're little pretzels coated with cinnamon yogurt. Unique and tasty.

The almonds and peanuts are candied in a mapley glaze and could easily stand alone as a delicious snack. I just wish there were more of 'em. There are tragically few raisins, as well.

The cereal squares are Chexy and sweet, although the maple glaze on them makes them taste and feel just slightly stale to me. I think they'd have been better without the glaze. There's enough sugar in here already. Why not just let the multigrain flavor do its thing?

If you're a fan of maple, this trail mix is worth a shot. I just think they came soooo close to making something great, and fell just shy of the mark. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but if someone put a baggie full of it in my backpack, I'd most definitely still eat some as a snack here and there.

I think we paid a clearance price of $2.99 for this trail mix. It might have been a little more previously. Always changing prices on us, those tricky Target employees—fortunately, they're usually lowering them. Just another reason I still shop at Target once in a while.

I give this trail mix 7 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Archer Farms Mocha Cold Brew Coffee

I always have to preface coffee reviews with the disclaimer that I'm not really a "coffee guy." How unAmerican, right? I know.

I'm not saying I've never had coffee. I've had plenty of it. I just don't really like it as much as other people seem to—at least in most instances. I've been a coffee-drinker out of necessity from time to time. I've had to wake up at ridiculous hours to be at work by 6am, I've braved the cheap stuff in the office coffee pot while trying to shake myself out of that post-lunch food coma, and I've had it in place of an energy drink just to change things up.

But I'm not a "true coffee-lover" by a true coffee-lover's standards. However...

If all coffee tasted like this, I might be a little more inclined to drink it every day. There's a genuine coffee flavor, but it's already lightly sweetened, and it tastes like mocha—not a sticky sweet candy chocolate mocha, either. It's a subtle dark, earthy chocolate that blends perfectly with the cold brew coffee flavor. It's thin and chuggable, and even I didn't feel the need to add any extra sugar or creamer.

I can't imagine this flavor working quite as well hot, but maybe that's because the heat index here in South Jersey is well over a hundred degrees today. Cold is the only way to consume coffee in this weather. I've generally gravitated toward cold beverages my whole life. I'll do an ice cold Rockstar in January, but a piping hot cuppa in August? Not so much. And lucky for me, cold brew coffee was meant to be consumed chilled.

The wife—a certified coffee fan—loved this flavor as much as I did. We'll be checking out the other AF cold brew offerings in the near future. Stay tuned.

I give this coffee 9 out of 10 stars.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Archer Farms Caramel Maple Bourbon Pecan Reduced Fat Ice Cream

Cookie dough ice cream has always been one of my favorites. Maybe that's why I was so harsh on Archer Farms Reduced Fat version. I'm very particular about my cookie dough.

Maple pecan and butter pecan type ice creams are usually not at the top of my flavor maybe that's why I'm relatively impressed with this offering. It still tastes sorta diet-y if you know what I mean, but less so than the previously-reviewed cookie dough flavor, as well as many of the Halo Top/Enlightened/Moo-phoria "healthy" ice cream flavors that I've sampled over the past year or two. 

The ribbons of caramel running through this pint are plenteous and sweet, but they're quite bourbonescent as well. "Bourbonescent" means bourbony or bourbon-ish, just FYI. It's not a super harsh bourbon flavor, but it is fairly strong. It's balanced out well with the maple flavor of the ice cream itself.

There are a few pecan pieces in the mix. I'd say you get about a quarter of a pecan nut every other spoonful on average, at least in this batch. That's not bad, but I wouldn't have minded quite a bit more of them.

Walnuts would have been a nice touch, too. Nuts are rich in protein, right? So they stick to the whole "high-protein ice cream" theme we've got going here.

If you don't mind the taste of bourbon, I think we've got a winner here—at least for fans of these newfangled diet ice creams. This one is among the best. But it's still a diet ice cream. $3.69 at my local Target.

I give this flavor 7 out of 10 stars. And I'm a very tough grader when it comes to ice cream.

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