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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Good & Gather Organic Peanut Butter Poppers

I'm sure I've mentioned it on this blog before, but I looove peanut butter. Always have. I love the condiment itself, I love peanut butter candies like Reese's Pieces, I love peanut butter and chocolate together, I love peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter cake, and even the recent Peanut Butter Falcon film, unfairly snubbed by the Academy this past year.

And of course, I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I like peanut butter and jelly trail mix. I even like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, AKA Fluffernutter. Pretty much anything goes with peanut butter...except peanut butter and pickles or peanut butter and bacon. People who enjoy those combinations should take a cold shower immediately and check themselves into the nearest mental health facility.

So I, like many of you, have my opinions about peanut butter. As much as I love the stuff, peanut butter cereals are a sketchy subject. 

While I wouldn't eat peanut butter solo with cold milk, I feel like peanut butter and chocolate desserts go well with milk. That's why cereals like Reese's Puffs work, at least marginally, in my opinion. Peanut butter dessert cereals are usually a safe bet. It's much harder to pull off a "healthy" peanut butter cereal, by my estimation. 

I like plenty of healthy cereals. Kashi, raisin bran, muesli, oats, and shredded wheat are all pretty decent in my book, so you can't accuse me of only eating junk food for breakfast. But in this particular case, I just feel like there needed to be a stronger sweet peanut butter flavor. The taste of the grains was too prominent against the taste of the peanut butter. I think it would have worked fine if it had been just an organic multigrain cereal...or if they'd pushed it just a tad in the direction of "peanut butter treat" rather than "peanut butter health food."

The texture was grainy and crispy, with just a hint of oily peanut butteriness. It was pretty similar to something like Kix. Not bad.

The leftover milk wasn't particularly peanut buttery. It tasted more like the constituent grains: corn, oats, rice. Drinkable, but not in a fun way. These peanut butter poppers aren't inedible, but I probably won't purchase this one again.

I give this cereal 6 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Archer Farms Carrot Patch Pretzel Rods

I could see how you'd wanna dress up something like a carrot and make it seem fun or dessert-like in order to get kids or immature adults to eat them. 

I find it pretty funny when they do the reverse. Pretzel-rods dipped in fudge aren't particularly nutritious, but with products like this one, you might subconsciously believe you've consumed a serving of vegetables.

Ah, I'm just kidding. Stuff like this is quirky and enjoyable. I'm assuming it's an Easter thing, since rabbits eat carrots. You get the kids bouncing around the house pretending they're the Easter Bunny, sprinkling pretzel crumbs all through the carpet. 

Sometimes I'm so glad we don't have kids. I manage to create enough crumbs just by myself. I digress.

These carrot patch pretzel rods are just as tasty as any other chocolate-covered pretzels. They're salty, sweet, and crispy. The serving size is just about perfect for a little mid-meal pick-me-up or post-dinner dessert. 

The presentation is cute, I guess. Each rod is just solid orange. There aren't any green leafy bits or brown "dirt" left on these carrot sticks. Limited edition. Spring-ish enough. They still aren't rolling seasonal products like this one over to the Good & Gather line yet. Not sure if we'll see these around next year or not.

$5.29 for six sticks. That's a little steep. Each piece is individually wrapped, so there's a good bit of packaging.

The wife and I won't have any trouble finishing this pack, but I don't think we'd ever re-purchase.

Happy Easter!

I give these "carrot sticks" 7 out of 10 stars.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Archer Farms Raspberry Truffle Cookies

Just in case some of us survive the coronavirus, there will be the matter of celebrating Easter next month.

It's just about three weeks away. We probably won't be able to wear good suits, dresses, and bonnets and show them off at church or attend big Easter egg hunting events, since we'll all still most likely either be drowning in our own lung fluids or at least self-quarantining and social distancing and all that, but that doesn't mean we can't have a little Easter celebration right at home with the immediate fam.

I'm not saying these are specifically a type of Easter candy, but they could be. They were in a section of other more Easterrific treats like Peeps and bunny-themed snacks, one of which we might look at here before Resurrection Sunday. Anyway, the packaging has kind of a lavender-purpley color, and I'd make the argument that the zig-zaggy lines on the box are inspired by Easter egg designs. Fancy.

The product within is even more impressive. Each cookie is a sweet white biscuit—that's one of my wife's nicknames for me, incidentally—with a layer of milk chocolate on top. But the truly unique element is a thin glaze of raspberry jelly in between the other two layers. The balance of flavors is epic.

The wifey and I both agree the raspberry jelly absolutely sets these sweet treats way above most sandwich cookies. Just imagine eating a Nilla Wafer with a milk chocolate coin and a dollop of sweet red raspberry jam all in one bite. Delicious. Not sure why this type of cookie isn't more common. I've never heard of anything like it before. I'm also surprised there's not more of a buzz about them on social media.

Just the two of us plowed through the box in short order. I found they went down even better with a glass of cold milk. This is exactly the kind of food product that makes me fat. Fortunately, they'll be sold out of these (and most other food items, most likely) on my next Target run. My only complaints: they should make them with white chocolate. Also, they should try to formulate a soft and chewy variety.

I give these cookies 9 out of 10 stars.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Good & Gather Organic Veggie-Flavored Tortilla Chips

If it ain't broke, then don't try to fix it.

It might be a cliche, but it's generally a good rule of thumb in my book. Target obviously disagrees.

I've been aware of this Good & Gather shift for quite a few months now, even though this is our first review of a Good & Gather product. Heh. As an acronym, Good and Gather spells GAG. 

So long, Archer Farms. I think we'll stick with "What's Good at Archer Farms?" as the name of this blog for the time being because 1) the first line of this post 2) I like the name "Archer Farms" a lot more than "Good & Gather" and 3) It's a nod to the classic golden age of Target fare of the past decade? Decades? I'm pretty sure AF was around since I first started shopping at Target some time in the early 2000's.

Isn't "good" either an adjective or a noun? And "gather" is a verb. So...those two words don't belong together in any case. 

I guess it could be short for "Do good and gather stuff" or some other inane simplistic mantra of modern Minnesota marketing masters, but whatever. At least it's alliterative. I'm not into it, but that doesn't mean that we won't see some tasty products coming down the line with the GAG moniker.

First impression of these chips: not great. They tasted burnt in a weird, subtle way. They're thick, relatively rigid...and vegetabley. At first I wasn't into the veggie + corn vibe.

But I must admit they grew on me by the end of the bag. They need salsa. And their girth and sturdiness really lends them to dipping into chunky salsas or dense queso or guacamole.

The flaxseeds provide an earthiness to the product. You can't really taste the individual vegetables listed on the bag like carrot, tomato, beet, and spinach, but rather an interesting blend of all of the above. Still, corn is the dominant taste.

My initial reaction was somewhere in the ballpark of 5 or 6 stars, but like I said, I came to appreciate them more by the time we finished the package and had tried them with numerous condiments and dipping situations. They're pretty versatile and have a unique flavor.

I give Good & Gather Veggie Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips with Flaxseeds 7 out of 10 stars.

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