Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kotas Reviews Chobani Flip Sriracha Mango Greek Yogurt

We here at Kotas Reviews have decided it is high time that we tried to get healthy and stop eating so much junk. Now that you've all stopped laughing, going forward I am going to try and reduce my number of "why did you consume that" reviews and get more non-food items into my rotation. Those that do remain will hopefully be somewhat less bad for me than the many varieties of Oreos I've eaten over the years, but time will tell I guess. I do have some stuff left in the Winter Backlog, but today's subject is a small, hobbling step toward a brighter, slightly less unhealthy future. Today we review Chobani Flip Sriracha Mango Greek Yogurt.

That is a lot more text that I expect from a breakfast food.

I actually like Greek Yogurt when I'm eating pre-mixed yogurt. It's super tangy and that contrasts well with a number of flavors, most especially Chobani's Key Lime offering, which is my usual breakfast of choice. Greek style yogurt is also just more satisfying to eat, because it is thicker and seems more substantial than the crap they shove in the faux Gogurt tubes my child adores devouring. Mango though is not on my go to flavors list, most especially when paired with Sriracha sauce, and even more especially with savory mix ins!

When exactly did this become a thing? Last time I really looked into packaged yogurt with mix ins, it limited itself to "vaguely healthy but not really" like granola and abjectly dessertish things like chocolate chips. This? I do not know if I can even! Seriously, if there was ever a food I thought could benefit flavor-wise from Sriracha sauce, it most certainly wasn't GREEK YOGURT. Isn't yogurt opposed to Sriracha sauce on the Culinary Elements chart or something? Shouldn't it do double damage to Sriracha Elementals? And why mango of all flavors? Actually, it's used in some hot chutneys so that at least makes sense. I'm thinking through this too hard. Let's rip open the pack!

What the everloving shit am I looking at?
Sweet Mother of Crap. What the FUCK are those things in the side there? Why is there a cashew hidden in there? WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS FINE? Anyway, the little crispy looking things are like the Devil's Own Krispies, though the sriracha flavoring is both more and less intense than I expected it to be. Spicy, for sure, but only spice and none of the flavor that comes with true sriracha. It's not very sriracha-ish at all. There are little sesame sticks as well, and yes, cashews. Because fuck you yogurt! Seriously, these things are kind of random and weird and I am utterly confused by their inclusion, even as just a vehicle for the supposed sriracha flavoring.

At least the terror is hidden from mine eyes.

Mixed in with the yogurt though, I must admit it's not terrible. It's not GOOD by any particular stretch of the imagination, with the overwhelming aura of "creamy mango yogurt, punctuated by Red Hots" vibe that flows across my tongue. The mango yogurt has real mango in it, which is nice, but the yogurt portion simply does not benefit at all from the addition of unflavored "hot-ness". The mix ins add weird and strange textures to the yogurt too, mostly because I expect them to act like granola and they absolutely Do Not. Rice crisps? Sesame Sticks? FUCKING CASHEWS? What the hell were you thinking?

I think I see what they were trying to do here, because Hot Mango Salsa and Sour Cream is a pretty good combination, but this is pretty much trying to make Jurassic Park with a budget for Carnosaur. Good try, lotta heart, very muddled execution that reaches for the moon and actually only gets over the tree in the back yard before crashing into the street.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 1 (one) Frowny Face. I do like seeing creativity in my yogurt I guess, but this is the insane ramblings of a drunkard made real. It just simply does not work the way it was intended, so I can't really recommend it. Give this one a pass, unless you really, REALLY like to see sriracha put on absolutely anything. Even then, maybe not.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kotas Reviews Sweetos

Hola Amigos! It's another blast from the "Winter Stockpile" past today, as I slowly clear out the back log. I am a big fan of innovation in snack foods, and lately, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception. How many flavors of Doritos does the world really need? All of them apparently, and many of them are actually good. Other snack foods have taken notice, like Lay's Chips, and the humble Cheeto has in recent years joined in on the fun. Today we look at their first foray into sweets: The Sweeto.

Now that's a mascot who knows how to party.
Cheetos were pretty straightforward for decades. First introduced in 1948 as "Crunchy Cheetos", they stayed exactly the same for over two decades before branching out into the Cheetos Puffs variety in 1971. They dabbled a bit in 1983 with a "Bacon" variety, but it wasn't until the 90s that different flavors of Cheetos were even really considered, with the addition of Flamin' Hot Cheetos. The 2000s saw an explosion of different flavors as well: Flamin' Hot con Limon, Chedder Jalapeno, Xxtra Hot, Salsa con Queso (I'm sensing a theme here), Honey BBQ, Mountain Dew (Seriously, but only in Japan for some reason...probably because Japan)...the list goes on. Still, Sweetos are their first foray into 100% sweet offerings and the first that can arguably not really be called Cheetos, because, well, no cheese flavors at all. A bold move by Frito-Lay, that's for sure.

I rather like the bag, with Chester Cheetah prominently displayed in a presumably Xtreme Sledding Event that has been marred by the appearance of the titular Sweetos. It's not very clear, but the package's purple portions are metallic in finish. Very freakin' classy. Let's see what's inside!

Well, that's about what I expected.
The cinnamon scent is extremely strong, as expected from a snack that bills itself as a Cinnamon Sugar Puff, and has a heavy quality to it that I just can't seem to place. The ring shape is not what I would have expected from the Cheetos people, but it probably allows for better flavor dust coverage or something. That or someone has a hankering for things that resemble doughnuts, but are not doughnuts. They resemble fat, cinnamon flavored Funyuns on the plate. Let's hope they taste good.

Actually, I was quite surprised by the flavor. I absolutely expected cinnamon and sugar, of course, along with a bit of corn base in the crunch, but what I absolutely did not expect was a strong butteriness to tie it all together. This is not the best description ever, but these taste EXACTLY like the cinnamon toast my mother used to make for me when I was a lad. It is uncanny, really, how many memories this flavor brought back to me of cold mornings and hot buttered cinnamon toast. Oh, I should probably mention that I really loved that cinnamon toast, so I really love this flavor. The after taste is a bit too corn-ish for a perfect recreation, but damn is it close. 

On the FACE Rating System, these get 2 smiley faces. If you love Cheetos...well, these might be up your alley, but there is very little beyond the packaging that screams Cheetos. As just a tasty snack though? Bring me more bags. I have more trips to take down memory lane. If you love cinnamon toast, you owe it to yourself to try these. Hopefully they will return next year for the Winter. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kotas Reviews Peppermint Bark Chex Muddy Buddies

We're still in Yearly Catch Up mode here at Kotas Reviews, and probably will be for some time, given the size of my back log. I'm sure I'll trim out some of it as uninteresting, but until then, onward and..uh...forward? Anyway, we're back with more Muddy Buddies: Peppermint Bark Muddy Buddies!

Forgive me, for I exist.
My biggest complaint? That the green circle on the packaging in no way matches the color of the Snickerdoodle package. I think they missed a real opportunity here in complimentary packaging. I also wonder, why neon green rather than a slightly less eyeblazingly bright green? Maybe the peppermint bark didn't show up as well against it? Eh, I think too much. This is pretty much the same package as the previous Muddy Buddies, but with different pictures and colors. I wasn't impressed then, and I ain't impressed now, but it's not bad, just sort of blah. So, what about the flavor?

Let's take a step back. I have varying feelings about peppermint bark. I do love me some peppermint candy, but I am not nearly as big a fan of white chocolate, and peppermint added to white chocolate does not provide additional flavor thrills. The type of bark that includes dark chocolate however, I enjoy that very much. Given that these are Muddy Buddies, which traditionally have some chocolate components, I expected these to taste more like the better kind of peppermint bark. Unfortunately, the picture on the package disabuses me of that notion. Still, I hold out hope.

Same Chex, Different Dust
Well, color me not surprised. It's Chex with a pile of flavor dust on it, much like the previous installment. Kinda phoning it in with the holiday flavors here, aren't we General Mills? Still, looks aren't the most important part of a snack food. The scent is pepperminty, which is fine given that most peppermint bark smells the same way. The flavor is...also pepperminty, and that's about it. It doesn't compliment the Chex nearly as well as the Snickerdoodle flavor did, but it's still sweet, crunchy and pepperminty. Not sure how the "bark" part comes in, as this could have just been called "Peppermint", but marketing is often baffling to me.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 0 Faces. I don't hate them. I don't like them. They are "okay". Perhaps a bit of a novelty, but nothing like the peppermint bark I would want to eat. If you are offered some, or find some for cheap, give it a try, but I wouldn't make any sort of effort to get them unless you are some sort of crazed peppermint fan who simply MUST have all things Peppermint AND you just HAVE to have Chex Mix Muddy Buddies. A rare combo indeed!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kotas Reviews Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies

Ah, it's great to be back. After a long winter's nap, the new year began, and so ushers in a new year at Kotas Reviews Everything! So of course I'm just going through my backlog of holiday stuff. Let's dive in, shall we? 

Chex is an incredibly versatile snack food. There are a ton of flavors (Corn, Wheat, Rice, Frosted, Honey Nut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Tarter Control...), it's good dry or with milk, and it is the springboard from which two glorious snack lineages spring: Chex Mix and Chex Muddy Buddies. Both of these lines were originally simply recipes that promoted their base product, but have since evolved in to true product lines of their own. Today we look at a holiday themed one: Chex Muddy Buddies Snickerdoodle Flavor.

Because Christmas, I guess.
Snickerdoodle cookies are a personal favorite. Cinnamon, sugar, and a name that sounds like a dirty word but isn't, snickerdoodles are about the perfect cookie for me that doesn't somehow contain chocolate. I've also been a huge fan of Chex over the years, particularly Corn Chex. Naturally, I just had to try this, even if it was in "Muddy Buddy" format. The packaging is sort of underwhelming, with some vague Winter decorations, the product itself, and a small, out of place looking red circle with some pictures of the titular cookies. Underwhelming, but acceptable. Let's open the bag!

Uh, sure. That's fine I suppose.

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, at least scent wise. It smells EXACTLY like Snickerdoodles, particularly grocery store bakery snicker doodles. They look about what I expected them to look like: Chex with a heaping helping of flavor dust on them. I expected a bit more, maybe some kind of filling, given these are Muddy Buddies, which normally have chocolate and peanut butter in them (hence the name). These? These are more like Dusty Buddies, but I suppose the name isn't as marketable. But of course, you are all do they taste?

Well, they taste exactly as they look: Like Corn Chex covered in cinnamon and powdered sugar in vast quantity. It is very reminiscent of snicker doodles, so props to them for that, but these could have been labeled "Cinnamon Sugar Muddy Buddies" and I would feel the same. The whole point of a snicker doodle is the look of the cookie, with the cinnamon on top of a cracked surface. The name comes from the look, not the taste! Eh, they are still fine, just an odd aesthetic marketing choice in my opinion.

On the FACE Rating System, these garner 0 smiley faces. They are fine, for the most part, but I wouldn't particularly seek them out again. My main problem is that they seem to be trying to be things they are not: Snicker Doodles (Nope), Muddy Buddies (Nope), Holiday Treats (Double Nope), and predictably fail at each turn. The final product though, is decent. So, maybe try them if you are offered them, or just need more cinnamon sugar in your life.