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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Favorite Day White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

It's still fall, so it's still pumpkin spice season. It's ubiquitous. It's inescapable. I do get sick of it each and every year, but I have to eat my fill of pumpkin spice first in order to get a big enough fix so that I don't crave it at all until next September. It's like intermittent fasting...except with pumpkin spice, and it plays out over months instead of hours. Okay, that's probably a bad analogy.

Anyway, I'm pretty close to my 2022 PS tipping point right now. Will the score of this product suffer as a result? Quite possibly.

The popcorn is pretty typical caramel corn in terms of texture, although it's a little on the stiff side. I think it's a result of the coating, but the product winds up feeling a little stale unfortunately.

The white chocolate is totally unevenly distributed. There are many pieces with no white chocolate at all. But other parts of the bag are nothing but enormous globs of white chocolate with a few popcorn pieces stuck to them. You can even see one of those globs in the photo, right in the middle of the see-through window on the bag.

Leaf shaped sprinkles? There really aren't many sprinkles to be found here. I guess it's possible most of them were shaken off the popcorn and wound up at the bottom of the bag. Even out of the few sprinkles I do see only one or two actually look like leaves. The others are just nondescript random shapes. Oh well. I mean...the idea was cute.

Flavor-wise, it's just too sweet. I like white chocolate in general, but it has to be in the right context. Neither the white chocolate sweetness nor the pumpkin spice elements shine the way I'd want them to. I'd also want the popcorn to be a little more salty in this instance to balance out the sweetness.

I like the idea of this product in theory, but the execution is just a tad sloppy in my professional opinion. $4.49 for the 7 oz bag. It's too expensive, as well. Although...what isn't these days?

I give this popcorn 6 out of 10 stars.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Favorite Day Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Espresso Beans

Not long ago, I looked at Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Espresso Beans. All things considered, the wifey and I liked them quite a bit. We were thinking about picking up another pack or two but before we could get back to TJ's, the wifey spotted these little morsels at the local Target.

It's the same deal pretty much: crunchy espresso beans covered in a candy-esque shell, flavored with typical pumpkin or pumpkin pie spices. But there was definitely something working in the Trader Joe's version that isn't working here for some reason.

I think maybe the candy coating in this case is a tad too sweet and the pumpkin spice elements are out of balance. There's a bit of that scented candle effect. Somehow the natural flavor of the coffee bean isn't as rich in this case. Part of that could be that these beans are significantly smaller than their Joesian counterparts.

I can't eat more than one or two of these beans before my mouth tires of the flavor. Definitely don't think this will be a repeat purchase. I might have been a little more lenient on these if I hadn't tried a superior product from a different store brand so recently. Plus, at $4.49 this product is four and a half times the price of the other version. Granted, it's a bigger bag, but I think small and cheap is the way to go with a product like this. Not like you're going to be eating these by the handful in either case. My wife agrees this product isn't nearly as good as Trader Joe's bag of pumpkin-flavored espresso beans, but she'll probably not have too tough a time finishing our package.

I give these espresso beans 6 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Favorite Day Apple Cinnamon Pecan Trail Mix

Okay, now this trail mix looks somewhat familiar. Have I tried it before? Yes and no. I had it when it was called Archer Farms Apple Cinnamon Trail Mix. The ingredients were remarkably similar. Both contain(ed) dried apple, dried cranberry, pretzel balls, and pecans. Now the pecans in the old version were "apple pie-flavored pecans" and these are merely "apple-flavored pecans." A quick perusal of the ingredients would suggest they are indeed the same product, or extremely similar at the very least.

It's yet another overly indulgent, sugar-laden trail mix from Target. At least it has some fruit in it, right? Let's dive in.

This one's somewhat similar to the last one we looked at also, but this one's much better. What makes this one a success as opposed to the other apple-based trail mix?

First of all, the apple-flavored pecans are delicious and plentiful here. No searching necessary. There are a couple in every handful. They're crunchy, sweet, and full of autumnal spices. Delicious.

The pretzel balls here are larger, creamier, and more flavorful than their apple bourbon counterparts. They taste like cinnamon and sugar, as well as yummy salty pretzel bread.

The apple chips in this trail mix are thinner than the apple chunks in the last mix, but in this case, there are more of them. Sweet little bites of real apple make any fall trail mix better.

Like the apple bourbon mix, the cranberries here are unnecessary. At least in this case, they don't taste like smoke and there are way fewer of them in the bag.

Once again, we're looking at a price point of $4.49. I'd reach for this trail mix over the apple bourbon or the scarecrow crunch any day of the week.

I give this trail mix 8.5 out of 10 stars.

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