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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Good & Gather Mexican Street Corn Inspired Trail Mix

So I've had real Mexican street corn—eloté—a few times and know what it's all about. My wife grew up with the authentic stuff in Los Angeles and even makes her own from time to time. It's basically corn on the cob with mayo, tangy cheese, lime juice, and chili powder.

Trying to recreate the taste of Mexican street corn with a trail mix is a tall order, even for those snack mix masters at Target. How did they do? So-so, in my humble opinion.

What works: the chili lime-seasoned corn kernels, AKA corn nuts. They taste like corn, lime, and chili. They're spicy and flavorful and very crunchy. 

Cheddar-seasoned corn sticks are fine. Cheddar isn't the cheese you'll find on Mexican street corn. They would have done better with cotija-seasoned corn sticks, but then again, they might not exist or might be very hard to find. 

The seasoned peanuts don't belong in an eloté-flavored trail mix, but the wife and I both agree they work in this mix just the same.

I'm fine with the corn chips with flaxseeds, but the beautiful wifey says they don't work. She thinks they could have added generic Doritos for a bit of nacho type flavor. They're the only ingredient we don't agree on.

And finally, the seasoned almonds are the weakest part of the mix. I can't put my finger on why I'm fine with peanuts here and not almonds, but they just don't add anything and kind of clash with the overall vibe somehow.

Not a terrible purchase, but not the best either. $4.49 for the 8 oz bag. Another middle-of-the-road score for GAG.

I give Good & Gather Mexican Street Corn Trail Mix 6 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Good & Gather Strawberry Shortcake Granola

While male children of the 80's were watching G.I. Joe and Thundercats, our female elementary school classmates were watching Strawberry Shortcake, a popular cartoon about a redhead that wore fruit-themed clothing and tended berry vines. So I always associated the term "strawberry shortcake" with something excessively feminine.

But years later, I realized that the dessert know as strawberry shortcake is completely delicious and certainly not just for girls. So now, from time to time, I'll buy berries, shortcake, and whipped cream, and have that for dessert or a special occasion instead of regular cake or pie or what have you.

Or, as is the case here, I'll try something strawberry shortcake flavored. I mean, it's really just a sweetened strawberry flavor, but if you add milk, I mean...that's creamy, right?

I think the product could have used more strawberry bits. You can always add your own freeze dried strawberries or fresh ones if you have them on hand, but by itself, this cereal is pretty decent, regardless. It's crunchy, berry-esque, and is mostly whole rolled oats sweetened with real cane sugar.

The missus liked it much more than I did and will definitely purchase again. I'll help her finish the bag, for sure, but I don't know if I think it stands head and shoulders above other Target brand granolas. We've looked at quite a few of them throughout the years. Just type "granola" into the Search This Blog bar above, and voila, there are at least seven other Archer Farms and Good and Gather whole oat cereals to read about.

I'd probably give this breakfast food about 7 out of 10 stars, all things being equal, but the beautiful wifey would give it more like a 9, so we'll split the difference.

I give this granola 8 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Good & Gather Organic Strawberry Banana Instant Oatmeal

This is some good oatmeal overall, but it needs more of the fruit flavors—especially strawberry. Fortunately, we had some freeze dried strawberries on hand, which improved the taste significantly. It's organic, which is good. No pesticides used on these oats.

There are teeny tiny little bits of dried bananas and dried strawberries in the mix. There's also "strawberry juice" listed, but both of the strawberry elements appear in the "2% or less" part of the ingredients list. In my humble opinion, sweeteners don't get better than "organic cane sugar," which is what we're looking at here. Also, it's the second ingredient rather than the first, falling just after "organic whole grain rolled oats." So...pretty darn healthy by my standards.

I'm starting to wonder if Favorite Day is replacing Archer Farms and if Good & Gather (GAG) is replacing Simply Balanced. The beautiful wifey pointed out the other day that most of GAG's oatmeals are certified organic and have pretty healthy ingredients, while Favorite Day is specializing in things like "indulgent trail mixes" that are loaded with calories and sugar and generally aren't organic.

$2.99 for 8 packs of instant oatmeal. The wife likes it more than I do, and she's made repeat purchases of this product. I'd probably steer the score toward 6 or so, but she'd definitely put it in 8 or 8.5 territory. For her sake, I'll split the difference and throw out 7 stars.

I give this organic oatmeal 7 out of 10 stars.

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