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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Wondershop Sour Drops

I don't think of gumdrops as particularly Christmassy, so I hope you'll forgive me for reviewing a Wondershop product in January. I mean, it's still technically the Christmas season until January 7th or so. Epiphany or Three Kings Day or Dia de los Reyes is today, January 6th. And did you know the Russian Orthodox/Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th? It's true. I'm all about extending the Christmas season, so let's just go ahead and do that in the U.S.

Anyway, gumdrops aren't particularly festive or holiday-ish in my opinion. Spice drops, perhaps, are. Although I find most spice drops totally unappetizing at any time of year.

So yeah, "sour" drops. I had to put the word "sour" in quotes because these are not particularly sour. Why can't anybody make truly sour candy? The only candy I've had that was actually and honestly very sour were Extreme Sour Warheads, and they don't come in a chewy variety as far as I know. Sour Patch Kids are tasty, but I wouldn't mind an even more sour version.

These gumdrops fall just below Sour Patch Kids in terms of general sourness as well as overall taste and quality. They're quite edible and mostly sugary sweet, with just a hint of tang and mouth-puckering pungency. They come in a fun little tube and would make a decent stocking-stuffer.

I'm not thrilled that corn syrup is the second ingredient in these, but at least it's not high-fructose corn syrup, and at least it falls after "sugar" on the list. There's just a whisper of crunchy grit from the sugar crystals on the outside of the drops. Other than that, they're soft and chewy, like any other decent quality gumdrop. We had ours sitting around for a month or so before we opened it, and the product still felt and tasted remarkably fresh.

The wifey and I both agree that the only major weakness of these Wondershop Sour Drops is that they're not particularly sour. Still, they're not a bad purchase. I'm pretty sure the price was in the ballpark of two or three bucks, but don't quote me on that. Also, you might be able to pick up a deeply discounted pack at the end of the holidays since Target will no doubt be clearancing Wondershop products to make room on shelves post-Christmas.

I give this candy 7 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Wondershop Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

For the past 3 or 4 years or so, each December we've seen these "Wondershop" products on the seasonal shelves of Target stores. As if Archer Farms, Simply Balanced, Market Pantry, Good & Gather, Up & Up, and Boots & Barkley weren't enough, they had to go and add a line dedicated solely to Christmas season snacks.

I mean, I shouldn't complain, because most of the Wondershop stuff we've tried is pretty good, and the packaging is magical and wintry. Wondershop Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies are no different. We've seen some nearly identical sandwich cookies in recent memory. Last year's Pumpkin Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies come to mind. These gingery confections are the same basic idea, but they're made with the most Christmassy cookies of all on the tops and bottoms of the sandwiches.

The creme in the middle is pretty much the same: it's made with cream cheese, sugar, and various oils. In both cases the filling provides little more than sweetness and a pleasant, creamy texture. Most of the flavor is coming from the cookies.

The cookies are vaguely crispy, though I wouldn't describe them as hard or crunchy exactly, either. Definitely not "chewy." They're pretty typical for pre-packaged ginger snaps, texture-wise. 

In the flavor department, they bring a good bit of ginger taste up front. It's not harsh at first at all, but the spices really creep up on you by the end of your first cookie. There's a nice warming sensation at the back of the throat that just begs for a swig of cold milk or hot chocolate. It might be too intense for some, but not even enough for ginger fanatics. For my wife and me, it was just about right: there's a nice little kick, but it's not overwhelming in our opinions, especially if you've got a tasty beverage on stand-by.

The packaging alone screams "Christmas time!" but if you're like me, you intimately associate gingersnaps and the Yuletide season, as well. These would be great for holiday parties, after-dinner desserts, or for mid-meal munching throughout your December vacation. 

$4.29 for three rows of 6 cookies each. I'd buy again next year.

I give these cookies 8 out of 10 Christmas stars.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Good & Gather Italian-Style Smoked Chicken Sausage

I've never been a huge sausage guy. 


That could be taken wrongly in a number of different ways. What I mean is, I'm not the biggest fan of the food known as "sausage" in general, although every once in a while I get a hankerin' and it's usually for the poultry variety. Unfortunately, this product does use pork casings, as many brands of otherwise turkey or chicken sausages do. 

And I've never been a big pig guy either. Heh. Big pig. That rhymes. Where my kosher peeps at? What?

Actually, I'm not kosher, mainly because I LURVE me some bottom-feeding aquatic creatures. And now that I've upset all the #BaconNation peeps as well as at least 2/3 of the adherents of Abrahamic religions, if you're still with me, please proceed to read the rest of this sausage review.

Because these sausages are actually pretty good. They don't have a ton of typical sausage spices—just enough to keep them interesting—and the meat seems to be very high quality chicken. They do well with run-of-the-mill condiments like mustard and ketchup, so you can eat them like that in the manner of a chicken hot dog, or you could go all out, chop them up and deck them with onions, peppers, and pasta sauce, serve them with spaghetti or what have you and either way, they're pretty tasty.

They come four in a pack for just about four bucks. Not a bad value in my opinion. Nutrition-wise, they definitely pack some serious sodium and cholesterol, but I'm pretty sure that's par for the course for most sausage, poultry-based or otherwise.

I'd even think about these as a side dish for a Thanksgiving meal. They're hearty enough and versatile enough that they'd go great with stuffing and mashed potatoes and other Turkey Day leftovers.

I might purchase again as is. Would definitely purchase again if they didn't go with pork casings.

I give these sausages 8 out of 10 stars.

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