Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kotas Reviews S'mores Oreos

Summer is ramping up quickly, and that means that summer camp is now totally a thing! Camp songs, camp fires, and most importantly, Camp Snacks. And what is the quintessential camp snack? Why, the S'more of course! S'mores were first recorded in 1927 in the publication Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts and referred to as "Some Mores" before taking on the contraction that we know and love today. Simple, effective treats, the s'more is a favorite of kids and adults throughout the summer, and they could not be simpler to make. Chocolate, Toasted Marshmallow, and Graham Crackers. But, can they be mass marketed? Today we dive into Nabisco's attempt to cash in, the S'mores Oreo.

Hold onto your butts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
Most of us are familiar with the traditional s'more recipe, and really, why mess with what works? Oreo took the right tactic here, but instead of going with a simple golden Oreo, thus putting the focus on filling, they've gone with graham cracker flavored cookie, making this the first truly unique Oreo from top to bottom since, well, the introduction of Golden Chocolate Oreos. In addition, instead of their usual "half and half split" of the creme that they do for double flavors, they've gone with a layered approach to better resemble the mimicked food. Let's crack open these suckers!

Well, I don't know exactly what I was expecting.
They smell...kind of like s'mores, though I tend to not notice the natural aroma of s'mores due to all the fire I use to make them. There is a hint of graham cracker as well as marshmallow in the scent, but it's not particularly strong. They are easy to twist off, though it is also easy to pull off too much creme. Let's bite into one!

Not every experience that I've had through the course of writing this blog has been good. In fact, I would say the majority of them have not be particularly great. This? This is what I like to refer to as "an astounding exception to the rule". These cookies are yumtacular. They do not taste as good as real s'mores, but damned if they aren't the best artificial s'more flavored thing I've ever eaten. I had to limit myself to 4 cookies for this review, and that rule was promptly broken. Dunking them only enhances the flavor, which is unusual given that milk tends to mute the overall flavors. So good!

On the FACE Rating System, these get 3 smileys, easily matching my love of regular Oreos. I absolutely would go out of my way to get these (and have). Everyone, get out there and shove them in your food hole right now! Unless for some reason you don't like s'mores, weirdo.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kotas Reviews the Most American Thickburger

Oh my goodness, it is almost time for the most patriotic holiday of the year! That's right, the Fourth of July is right around the corner, and in celebration of all things American, I will be tackling some of the most...oh, let's be kind and say "innovative" food items to be developed in the good old U. S. of A. That's right folks, it's 'MURICA WEEK!

For generations, Americans have celebrated the birth of our fair nation by devouring hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato chips with great abandon in pursuit of gustatory patriotism. Well, Hardee's (or Carl Jrs. as it's known out West) has finally figured out a way to have all of them at once! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the Most American Thickburger! 

Picture courtesy of CBS Detroit...and MURICA!

Throughout this blog, you will find the phrase "Monument to Man's Hubris" used a few times, but I can think of no other circumstance where this phrase is more appropriate. Just look at this thing. A 1/3rd pound cheeseburger topped with ketchup, mustard, a HOT DOG, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles, and POTATO CHIPS. While the title of Most American food might be up for dispute, this certainly is the Most American Thickburger I have ever seen. Then again, promotional pictures can be deceiving. What does it actually look like?

I expected it to be taller for some reason.

Considering the usual disconnect between fast food burger pictures and the burgers themselves, this one mostly resembles it's idealized promotional self. At least some effort was made by my local eatery to make it look nice. Let's get it out of that wrapper.
Definitely American.

I've been a fan of the Thickburger back when it was called the Six Dollar Burger. I'm not sure what they put in them, but they are, for me, one of the better tasting fast food hamburgers. Still, odd toppings usually result in a downgraded burger experience, so I was skeptical this would be any different.

Well folks, I'm pleased to say that in this case, I rather enjoyed the experience. For whatever reason the hot dog and hamburger portions compliment rather than clash, for a meaty, American style tastesplosion. The potato chips add little actual flavor, but from a texture standpoint they provide some much needed contrast to the meat, along with a satisfying crunch as one bites into the sandwich. The lettuce and tomato make things a bit messy, but MURICA does not abide by being too dignified. 

On the FACE Rating System, I give this a very pleasing 2 Smiley Patriotic Faces. If you are a lover of hamburgers in general, you owe it to yourself to see what combining a full meal into a single sandwich can do. If you do not like regular Hardee's/Carl Jrs. Thickburgers though, this will not change your mind. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kotas Reviews Triple Double Oreos

We're back with another Oreo review! First came the Oreo, and its simple perfection. The people clamored for more, and thus Nabisco begat the Double Stuf Oreo. The people were happy, but grew weary of the vague vanilla flavor of their creme, and thus was begat the Chocolate Oreo and Reverse Oreo. Then came the period of Maybe Trying Too Hard, and with that, we have the latest offering for those who want their cookie and to eat it too: The Triple Double Oreo.

Triple Double? That's certainly *puts on sunglasses* a mouthful.

Well, there it is. Just when you thought we had enough Oreo variations, along comes THIS Frankenstein's Monster of a cookie. Now, I admit, I have created something like this in my youth (or last week...DON'T JUDGE ME) by twisting off the top of one Oreo and smashing it onto another one, but to see that sort of thing as a ready packaged product kind of gives me pause. Still, I love Oreos in both vanilla and chocolate varieties, so this is probably a pretty tasty product, right? But that name. Triple Double? So, you mean SIX? Because Tripling than Doubling a single thing is six. Augh, the nomenclature, it burns. Then again, it is just a cookie.

On a plate! No more paper towels for us! Super classy yo!
These suckers pass the Twist Off Test without any issues. I admit that I was pretty surprised that these literally were just "another cookie bit" stuck to the top of a regular Oreo, as evidenced by the perfect impression of the top of an Oreo pressed into the chocolate creme. I'm not sure why I was expecting otherwise, but having a "flat on both sides" cookie as your interstitial would have suggested at least SOME effort went into the design of this thing. Then again, perhaps I'm over thinking it. Still, the proof is in the eating, so let's get on with that!

How does it taste? Exactly as you'd expect a double decker Oreo to taste, but with more chocolate flavoring than if it were two standard vanilla Oreos. It's a bit of a mouthful, but the flavor is top notch Oreo goodness. If you've had an Oreo, you won't be shocked at the flavor. It is a bit too much to eat all at once, due to the number of cookie layers, and it can kind of fall apart if you just take a bite, so it's a little harder to eat than a regular Oreo.

Where this cookie shines however is in the dunking. Unlike a Double Stuf, where the vanilla creme is such a strong component that dunking is almost redundant except to soften the cookie, the 3 layers of cookie give plenty of surface area to soak up milk, and enough structural rigidity to prevent the cookie getting overly soft, even after an extended dunk. The chocolate creme helps better balance the milk and vanilla flavors, making for an excellent dunking experience.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 2 smiley faces. They won't supplant regular Oreos for general snacking, but when I'm in a mood to dunk, these are my go to. If you love Oreos, try these today, especially with milk. You just can't go wrong there. Good job, Nabisco! Good. Job. Except for that name, which is not great. Work on that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kotas Reviews Reeses Peanut Butter Oreos

Ah, summer. The time when shorts and a t-shirt become more than just lounge wear and transform into a standard outfit. The time when water balloons go from annoying prank to surprise refreshment. A time of picnics, soda pop, and nostalgia. With that in mind, let's eat some cookies. Today we take a look at Reeses Peanut Butter Oreos.

Hey, why not?

Oh look, those crazy Reeses people are at it again, cramming peanut butter into ever more unasked for places. Seriously, did anyone anywhere ever wish for this particular combination of flavors? Vanilla creme is not the thing I would pair peanut butter with, and wisely, Nabisco ditched it in favor of their chocolate creme offering. It is joined by a peanut butter half, and all of that is smashed between the traditional Oreo chocolate cookie. How bad could it be, right?

More like Smearios, am I right?
Well, they look like Oreos all right. There is definitely a peanut butter odor about them, though it is clearly the "candied Reeses peanut butter" scent than that of actual peanut butter. The cookies pass the Twist Off Test okay, though there was a little tearing, as you can see above. How do they taste? 

Well, they taste a lot like if you took Reeses peanut butter from their cups and jammed it between two Oreos. The chocolate creme offsets the candied peanut butter, but only a little bit, so the majority of the flavor is "candy peanut butter". This flavor is often a little bit stale by itself, so the chocolate masks that...but I can still tell. The peanut butter creme by itself is very much like a version of the stuff in a Reeses cup, and the chocolate creme by itself is...chocolate creme, though it does have distinct peanut butter overtones. 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 0 faces. It's not bad, but it's not particularly good either. If you really, really like Reeses peanut butter products, you'll probably like this. I think it is fine, but I'm not going out of my way to get it. Nice little cookie, but I'll stick with regular Oreos for my Oreo fix. Give 'em a try, but don't expect to be amazed.