Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kotas Reviews a One Pound Gummy Rabbit

Yeah, yeah, I know Easter is well and truly over, but damn it, this is my space and I'll review what I want to review! I am a huge fan of Easter Themed Candy, starting with my unabashed love of Cadbury Creme Eggs and Peeps of all shapes and colors (There are Lemonade Peeps! And they are amazing! GO EAT THEM!). One of the most quintessential pieces of Easter candy is the chocolate rabbit, always doomed to have the ears consumed first. While my spouse and child received the appropriate chocolate offerings, this year I decided to switch it up a bit. No chocolate for me this year. No, I was headed into the danger zone of artificial fruit flavoring and oddly synthetic textures. Ladies and Gentlemen, today we review the One Pound Gummy Bunny.

I'm not a huge fan of gummy candy, but I do enjoy it on occasion, and of all gummy flavorings, I love cherry flavor the most. It reminds me of my childhood, and seeing this darling brought back some of the magic of receiving a ridiculously oversized piece of candy as a gift. Let's crack this sucker open!

Paper Towel for extra classiness.
This thing is pretty substantial to hold, and incredibly sticky. It took a bit of effort to peel it off the paper towel without bits of the towel sticking fast to the underside. The smell is almost exactly like that of raw ICEE cherry flavored syrup, or maybe that of a cherry Slush Puppie. This is a dense candy that knows how to party.

No hollow rabbit here! Solid all the way through.
The taste of this thing is the same super sweet, super fake cherry-esque flavor that an ICEE or Slushie would have once all the ice melted and you had just the syrup. This is pure solidified fake cherry syrup goodness, and every bite reminds your pancreas that you hate it. It is surprisingly tough to tear, and I had to resort to a knife to slice off acceptably sized pieces to consume and share. Even then, it was really tough to eat. It was most efficient to just take bites straight from the carcass candy mass, but just biting through it could be a chore, as it was also very chewy.

On the FACE Rating System, this glorious rabbit gets a solid two smiley faces. I would not recommend it to anyone with easily lost fillings or those who hate artificial cherry flavoring, but for gummy lovers and fake cherry lovers, I have but one suggestion:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kotas Reviews the Lunchables Dirt Cake

Lunchtime has always been a source of wonder, disgust, and terrible food choices since the first human crawled out of his cave and slapped a slice of mammoth loaf on a pottery tray for their kid to eat. The late 80s saw a set of new contenders for the hearts and stomachs of kids and moms appear: The Lunchables. Today we examine a degenerate offshoot of what was once at least something resembling a meal. Let's take a look at the Lunchables Dirt Cake.


Lunchables were conceived of as a vehicle for selling more bologna. No really, that's why they were created, at least according to Wikipedia. The original packages had three things in them: Crackers, something resembling cheese, and slices of bologna, ham, or turkey. These things were ubiquitous at lunch time during the early 90s, but they weren't considered particularly good or bad. To jazz things up, Oscar Meyer began including all sorts of gimmicks: Make Pizza! Make Hot Dogs! Get Candy! Get a Soda! And so on, and so forth until they were called out for basically being almost the unhealthiest thing you could shove in a child's craw apart from a scoopful of beef tallow. They've since scaled it back to slightly less terrifying combinations...and yet, we have today's subject.

Let's talk about gummy candy for a bit: Why in the HELL do people think this tastes good with chocolate? It doesn't. EVER. Gummy candy is pretty tasty, in fact it may be the second most flavorful plastic on the face of the earth (the first being Twizzlers, of course). This does not mean it goes well with cookie crumbs or chocolate pudding! But enough of my ranting, what's in the box?


Seriously people. Gummy worms are used in dirt cakes as DECORATION and ACCENT. Not as a primary component of the experience! Can no one else see this? Whatever, let's get this over with. This package contains several gummy worms, a splort of what claims to be chocolate marshmallow frosting, and a heap of very small Oreo crumbs. The idea here is to dip the gummy worm in the frosting, then in the cookie crumbs, then eat it yourself. I suppose a child might find this appetizing, but I did not. Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good dirt cake. I may have eaten three heaping bowls of it the last time I was served it, an action I do not regret (much). But this? This was no boating acci...dirt cake. 

I cannot stress enough how making the gummy worms the primary flavor component fucks up the concept of the dirt cake. Gummy and chocolate are not a match made in heaven, it's a match made in Heck. The plastic-y super chemical fruit-ish flavor of the gummy worm catastrophically collides with the chocolate and "something that tries to be marshmallow but totally isn't" flavor of the frosting. The super chewy texture, the WHOLE REASON for gummy candy to exist, clashes with the particulated crunch of the cookie crumbs in an utter failure of taste sensations. On top of it all, it lacks the binding creaminess of a real dirt cake to keep the chocolate and cookie elements in balance. I even tried eating the components separately. The gummy worms were nothing special, though they weren't bad. The frosting was not chocolate nor marshmallow so much as "something chocolate-ish, maybe" and was way too sweet. The crumbs were crumbs, and were stale crumbs on top of everything else. Ugh.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 3 Frowny Faces. You took a bit part and made it the star of a show, and then half-heartedly tossed the other bits onto the stage wily-nilly. I applaud the creativity of the idea, but the execution was a total bomb. Please do better next time, Oscar Meyer. I believed in you, and THIS is how you repay me. For Shame!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kotas Reviews Red Velvet Oreos

Sometimes a person is unable to obtain a thing. Sometimes this drives them to do unspeakable, awful things to acquire that thing. Then Nabisco releases another limited edition Oreo in the current Bandwagon Flavor of the Moment. Let's take a look at Red Velvet Oreos.

Note: Not a Photoshop
So it's come to this. Even Nabisco is jumping on the Red Velvet bandwagon. When I was growing up, Red Velvet cake was something that my grandma made as some sort of sad way of "jazzing up" the same old birthday cake. At least in my family it never ended well. In my college years, this was the only kind of cake one of my buddies would make, as he considered it a "mere vehicle for the consumption of cream cheese icing". It always seemed like it would remain a niche dessert. This just goes to show you that you should never trust my instincts about food trends because Red Velvet is IN for reasons beyond my ability to comprehend.

Behold all this majesty!
Red Velvet was first popularized when food dye suddenly became something you could buy in the grocery store around the time of the Great Depression. It was conceived of by the Waldorf-Astoria hotel as a signature dessert, but is often associated with Traditional Southern Food. Why? Shut up, that's why!

Upon opening the package, there is definitely a scent of...something Not Quite Oreo. It doesn't smell bad, but it smells very, very artificial. This is only slightly off putting. The cookies themselves look exactly as you would expect them to: Dark Brown-ish Red. Fit enough in my book to eat, at any rate.

Yep. Definitely an Oreo.
These cookies pass the twist test with flying colors, revealing a slightly off white cream filling. The taste is a LOT like eating an Oreo with a dollop of cream cheese icing, though there is a distinct chemical overtone that screams "I was made in an Erlenmeyer Flask!". The cookies themselves are not really distinguishable from regular Oreos, but the cream filling sure is, and how. It's a bit too sweet to eat on its own, but with the cookie it's good. Milk actually dampens some of the artificiality and makes these taste better. 

On the FACE Rating System, these get 0 Smiley Faces. They aren't bad, really, but there is no reason to eat these over regular Oreos unless you have a really strong fetish for vaguely reddish foods or an unholy love of all things Cream Cheese Icing. I won't turn them down, but I don't consider them something I would actually buy again. On the whole, very meh. If you love trying new flavors, see if you can get someone to give them to you, but otherwise? Just go get a jar of Cream Cheese Icing and dip your regular Oreos in it.