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Pepsi Throwback

Not only do I write consumer reviews, I read them as well. Especially soda & soft drink news and reviews; it’s just an industry I’ve enjoyed following for a long time. There are lots of little cliques of people too; small mom & pop companies vs. the Big Two, Pepsi vs. Coke, and sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup. That natural sugar debate has always intrigued me, as I’ve rarely been able to obtain access to a steady supply of beverages that have been sweetened that way. An occasional Latin beverage, but nothing made by Coke or Pepsi.

Pepsi apparently took notice of this clique of consumers, and released a couple of new beverages just for them. Mountain Dew Throwback, which I’ll review later, and what I have now, Pepsi Throwback.

Pepsi Throwback generally tastes like regular Pepsi, the only things that I noticed was that it was a bit less sweet, and slightly less carbonated. ‘Mouth feel’ is somewhat cleaner and less sticky. Naturally, all those combined make it significantly smoother.

To be perfectly honest, the only reason that I would consider picking this up over corn syrup Pepsi is that I think sugar is healthier for you. Rather, both are bad, but I’m of the belief that pure sugar is the lesser of two evils.

Pepsi is saying this is no longer a limited time product, and has been added to their cola portfolio permanently, but I’m not sure I believe them. My gut tells me that there are not enough people that truly care about the differences, and certainly not enough to keep a spinoff brand profitable. If you like it (it certainly isn’t bad) I’d stock up. Meh.

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–Jeremy Hobbs

MorningStar Farms Sausage Links

If you follow The Consumer’s Corner’s daily blog posts, you’ll know by now that I am a huge MorningStar Farms fan.  I love their protein rich foods, the tasty, distinct flavors and the ease of tossing them in the microwave with the same results as throwing them on the grill.  Most people know that MorningStar Farms makes (delicious) veggie burgers, and if you’ve read my other posts you know that they make microwavable meals, but not many people know the full scope of all the MorningsStar Farms products.  Today’s topic? Veggie sausage links.

These links are absolutely scrumptious.  The sausage links have a slight kick to them that I hear regular sausages possess.  With 82% less fat than pork sausage (that’s only three grams per serving!) and 80 calories they’re a great breakfast food that will fill you up without giving you that groggy, bloated feeling that I find eating too much in the morning can give me.  Have I not convinced you to try the links for breakfast?  My mum taught me another great way to eat them.  Sandwich style.  Personally, I cut the link in half long-ways and lay them between two slices of bread with a little (okay a lot) of ketchup.  However you want to try these, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will love MorningStar Farm’s sausage links.  Interested in trying them? Simply go to https://www.morningstarfarms.com/products/breakfast/sausage-links and type your zip code into the ‘where to buy’ box and voila! You have sausage! Certainly a ‘Yea!’ from me!

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-Kat Graham

 

Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Trifecta

I’m a budget shopper, so when I’m craving some cold, creamy confections I tend to skip past the pricier name brands, and their tiny containers. Set me up with a half-gallon of store-brand vanilla, some chocolate syrup, and I’m pretty darn happy. Last week I was browsing the freezer of my local Walgreens, and noticed a buy one, get one free deal on Ben & Jerry’s. I scanned over the list of flavors, and curiosity got the better of me. Before I could say ‘Phish Food,’ I had a container of it and ‘Truffle Trifecta’ in my shopping cart.

Truffle Trifecta is a variety of B&J’s exclusive to Walgreens stores, so I hope you have one in your area, or you’re going to miss out on some amazing ice cream. Truffle Trifecta has a base of milk chocolate ice cream, and dime/penny sized chocolate truffles. The filling in those liberally placed truffles is marshmallow, fudge, and my absolute favorite, caramel. When you bite in to that nugget of golden, buttery yumminess, it is an amazing flavorful experience. The contrast with the chocolate ice cream is so…. right. That’s the only way I can describe it.

Should you be able to afford the premium price, or you only indulge on occasion, I highly recommend Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Trifecta. It gets an easy ‘Yea!’

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon

Lime. Hands down it may be my favorite flavor additive to any given product. I like lime candy, lime soda, lime pie, lime vodka, I season my food with powdered lime seasoning. You might could say that I am a bit lime obsessed. I wouldn’t argue that point. So when I received the blessing opportunity to review Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon, I was very much thrilled.

After the glorious experience I had taste testing Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso, and knowing that Dinamita Chile Limon had a lime component, I just knew that a ‘Yea!’ rating was a forgone conclusion, and my review would be one giant piece of Dorito propaganda. Ladies and gentleman, when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. In this case, my expectations were quite a ways off.

Lime was only used as a tool to make these snacks bitter, none of the festive fruit notes were able to punch their way through the incredibly dominant wall of chile pepper flavoring. Doritos really went for heat as the primary flavor here, and on that front, they succeeded. Where they failed was not offering any kind of balance. Also, it took a Clorox wipe to get the bright red coloring off of my fingers; they did not skimp on the amount of seasoning.

These are going in the ‘Meh…’ category from me. They were not what I expected, but I did like them enough to finish the bag. I can see where someone might really enjoy them, but that ‘someone’ wasn’t me, and I won’t be a repeat buyer.

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

 

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Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso

Skittles Darkside

Skittles is going all Star Wars on us. That’s right, it’s the new Skittles Darkside, ‘The Other Side Of The Rainbow’, and boy are they delicious. Darth Vader would be proud.   As a hard core Skittles fan I was ecstatic to see this new brand extension of awesomeness at my local Walgreens as I purchased half the candy isle and some ice cream.  Don’t judge me.  With flavors including Forbidden Fruit, Blood Orange, Pomegranate, Dark Berry and Midnight Lime you can’t go wrong.  While all the flavors are delectable I’d have to call the Blood Orange my favorite–I could eat them by the handful.

These dark, delicious morsels are a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and a whole lot of yummy. One thing that I always consider when trying multi-flavored candies is not only do they taste good alone but do they taste good in a dark movie theatre when I grab a random handful.  They complement each other beautifully and create a cornucopia of lovely flavors.  I dare say, I like them more than any other product Skittles has but out yet.

Whether you’re going to the movies or just going on a candy binge Skittles Darkside are a must-have.  Big “Yea!”

Official Site

-Kat Graham

 

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Pretzel M&Ms

Shush!

Whenever I’m in a quiet room, it’s a big deal for me to make sure I’m not ‘that guy’ who has his cell phone go off. Cell phone etiquette is quite important to me, as I am a shy guy, and easily embarrassed. So it goes without saying that I adhere to those silence standards almost without fail. My problem arises about eight hours (and ten or so missed calls, and probably fifty missed texts) later, because I forgot to turn my cellular noise maker back on. Shush! is an Android application that fixes that.

When you install Shush!, every time you switch over to silent mode, a little spin dial will appear. Drag it to however many hours and /or minutes you want you phone to stay quiet. After that, it automatically switches your noisy notifications back on, without any input needed from your forgetful self. Simple and ingenious, huh? The best inventions always are.

Shush! takes up hardly any room on your device, and has no noticeable affect on the speed your hardware. My phone is snail slow, so I’d definitely be able to tell if it did. For the amazing price of ‘free,’ this little app can’t be beat. ‘Yea!’

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso

Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso are the best tasting line extension I’ve seen come out of Frito-Lay in many of years. This was a chip so delicious that I simply did not have the will power to stop stuffing the little rolled up tortilla chips in to my mouth. Judging by all of the Spanish on the bag (English was secondary on this product), these are being marketed to the ever-growing Latino demographic. That may be true, but they won over a pasty white boy with ease.

The flavor is a mix of nacho cheese, some spicy kick, and a tangy vinegar like finish that makes my mouth water just thinking about them. The heat was warm enough to clear out my sinuses, but was nowhere near the point of being ‘too much.’ Besides, if you’re buying a product with a label that says ‘Dinamita’ on it, you should expect to feel a little burn. Nacho Picoso’s are absolutely smothered in the powder that flavors them, and your fingers will be getting a temporary dye job from it. Fun to lick off though!

In a break from tradition, these Doritos are rolled into a tube-like shape. I really liked this as well, if for no other reason than it being unique and different (at least in the US). The corn chip has a nice crunch to it, and seems to resist breaking much better than the standard triangle variety. If Frito-Lay is smart, they’ll market Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso to the fullest extent, as this is an astounding snack food. Should you try these? ‘YEA!’ I can’t wait to get my hands on another bag.

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

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MorningStar Farms Mediterranean Chickpea Veggie Burger

MorningStar Farms has done it again–this time with their new Mediterranean Chickpea veggie burger.  In a word: delicious.  I was a little skeptical when I first picked this up at my local Winn-Dixie because I tend to be a bit of a picky eater, but I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised.  Right now I’m teaching myself how to cook “grown-up” foods using the oven and stove instead of microwaving everything, but let me tell you, I can throw these burgers in the microwave for a minute and fifteen seconds and I couldn’t tell the difference had it been grilled.  The burger wasn’t soggy or flimsy post-microwave but quite firm and tasted great between some oatmeal bread with a little bit of ketchup.  Ketchup, I know, not most people’s first choice for a Mediterranean dish, but MorningStar Farms’ website offers recipes for yoghurt lemon sauce, cilantro avocado spread and more.

One thing that I love about these burgers is that when they say Mediterranean Chickpea they don’t mess around.  The burgers a stuffed with whole chickpeas and will meet you with a beautiful aroma Mediterranean flavors.  So far I haven’t found any other popular veggie burger brands that offer a Mediterranean option and even if they did, I’m not convinced that they could top MorningStar Farms’ brand.  For those of you who are looking at this meat alternative for health reasons you’ll be happy to know that each burger has 70% less fat than ground beef and only 110 calories per serving.  Will you notice the flavor difference?  No worries there!

So whether you’re looking for a new vegetarian grilling (or microwaving) option or just love Mediterranean food you will not be disappointed.  Have to give this burger a big ol’ “Yea!”

Official Site

-Kat Graham

 

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MorningStar Farms’ Lasagna with Sausage-Style Crumbles

MorningStar Farms

 

 

RC Ten

Most readers can’t remember the time when RC Cola was competitive with Coke and Pepsi. Now it seems to be thought of in the same way we think of grocery store brands; a generic knock off. This is a shame, because Royal Crown Cola was, and still is, an exceptionally great tasting beverage. Closer to Pepsi than to Coke, RC has a smooth, sweet profile with a slightly fruity finish. If you’ve never tried RC, or it’s been a long time, I recommend grabbing a bottle the next time you see it. If you’re a cola fan, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Diet RC has been notoriously difficult to find. In fact, despite my best efforts to find a bottle or can, I have never laid my eyes on it in person. Rumor has it that it has been discontinued. That’s a shame, I’d have loved to add it to my collection. What we have now is RC Ten, a product riding the coat-tails of the success of Dr. Pepper Ten.

As high as I am on regular RC (as well as Dr. Pepper Ten), I’m every bit as low on RC Ten. This is just an inferior product when compared to its competition; mainly Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. It certainly falls short of its sister soda Dr. Pepper Ten. It tastes horribly of chemicals, and lacks much in the way of cola flavor. It doesn’t make me think of regular RC in any way. RC Ten is, in a word, ‘Bleh!’

Official Site

-Jeremy Hobbs

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