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Purchased at: Doc Sweet’s
Price $.59
According to the website: Bacon lovers unite-finally, you can have your dessert that also conains your favorite food group- Bacon! This maple and bacon lolli is a fiercely delicious combination of real smoky bacon bits and delicious maple syrup giving all at once savory and sweet sensation. Mmm- Bacon!

Last weekend I made my way to Doc Sweet’s, which is supposed to be the biggest candy store in Michigan. I was hoping to find some chocolate covered bacon or something similar, because I’ve never seen it before and it’s one of those things that I really want to try. Either I missed it or they didn’t have it, but I did manage to find the only bacon candy in the entire store. The Das Lollipop “Man Bait” maple bacon flavored lollipop was both horrifying and interesting. My mother and best friend were not interested in this at all, they were ONLY horrified.

Alright, so the lollipop has both smoke and maple flavors in it. And it’s studded with REAL BACON BITS. I know. I unwrapped it and stared at it in trepidation for a few minutes before finally working up the courage to try it. This is the first bacon flavored candy I’ve ever had – before this, bacon had only been served in two ways: next to a stack of pancakes or mixed into some salad that’s served at a picnic.

So how is it? Surprisingly awesome.

The maple is what hits you first, and then you get the smoke, and then the salty, bacony aftertaste. And, of course, the bacon bits. The bacon bits were the best part, and I was totally not expecting them until I unwrapped the sucker. The taste is awesome. I don’t really know what to say other than that. It tastes EXACTLY like everyone’s favorite part of a big Sunday breakfast – that moment where you dip your bacon in the maple syrup that’s left over from your pancakes/waffles. I didn’t think I would get such a natural maple OR bacon flavor from this sucker, but Das Foods really managed to pull it off. I love this thing. I’m just disappointed that I only bought one.

The only downside, in my opinion, is the fact that the actual sucker itself is the color of bacon grease, which is kind of offputting. But the taste surely makes up for it.

5/5

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Purchased at: Meijer
Price: $1.69

I’m not a big coffee drinker, but every so often, it really hits the spot. Usually, I go to Starbucks and spend an arm and a leg (or…you know…$3.50) on a caramel macchiato, because they’re delicious. Caramel, coffee, milk, and vanilla syrup. What’s not to love? Besides the price, of course.

Then I saw this at Meijer and it was like the heavens opened up. I heard organs and harps. I saw angels. Or something. 20+ caramel macchiatos, all from the comfort of my own house (+ pajamas), for $1.69? I was sold. And today, I decided to give it a shot, because I was up all night cramming for a final and speed-writing a final paper.

First off, I made the coffee a little too strong. I rarely make it at home, so this isn’t my forte. Because of this, I had to add a little more creamer than I would usually use. It smells really awesome when you mix it with the coffee – it’s that bitter coffee smell mixed with a sugary sweet caramel. If it tastes half as good as it smells, I’m all for it.

Guess what? It does! I used about a tablespoon and a half of the creamer for one regular-sized mug of coffee. It cuts the bitterness of the coffee and adds a nice silky touch. The caramel isn’t overpowering at all, and I’m not sure if there’s any vanilla here or not. Of course, it’s not the same as a caramel macchiato from Starbucks, but it’s a lot cheaper and a lot better for you (because no matter what anyone tries to tell me, I do NOT think Starbucks tastes good when made with skim milk. Go big or go home.). And it enables my laziness, because I don’t have to change out of my pajamas or go out in public to get it every morning.

It’s a good substitute and I’d buy it again.

4/5

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Purchased at: Trader Joe’s
Price: $1.99 (four bars)

It’s almost summer, which means the days are getting warmer and warmer here in Michigan. And because I work in a kitchen, I’m always hot. When I get off of work, the only thing I want is something cool to eat or drink. Trader Joe’s Fruit Frenzy bars are the perfect cold snack for a hot summery day.

First off, how pretty are these things? The colors are bright and they just look refreshing. The top layer is raspberry, the middle lemon, and the bottom strawberry. And they’re GOOD.

The raspberry section has actual pureed raspberries in it, which means it’s not as smooth and icy as a traditional popsicle. It’s pretty sweet. Now, there are quite a few seeds in this part, because it has the real fruit in it. I didn’t mind this at all – not only did they add a little texture, but it was a constant reminder that these weren’t just corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

The next layer is lemon. This one does not have any fruit bits in it, as far as I could tell. It’s tart. It’s not too sweet. It’s really nice. The best part about this layer is the little part at the beginning where the lemon and the raspberry are mixed together. It tastes like the best glass of raspberry lemonade you’ve ever had.

The strawberry layer is pretty good, but it’s also my least favorite. Again, this one has fruit puree in it, which means it has seeds and little pieces of strawberry. There isn’t anything wrong with the strawberry, but…well, I’m not a big fan of strawberries in the first place.

I am DEFINITELY going to be buying these again. They’re a really good size (bigger than most popsicles), and at only $.50 apiece, they are totally worth it.

5/5

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Purchased at: Target
Price: $2.31 (on clearance)

So, the bag of these that I picked up at Target had the word “NEW” stamped across the front, which seemed weird to me, because I picked them up from the clearance endcap in the grocery section (which is, quite frankly, one of my favorite sections of the entire store). This was last Monday, which was June 7th. The best before date? June 5th. I like to fancy myself as being pretty brave, so I decided to risk it.

First off, I hate when companies spell things with unnecessary letters as a way to be “cutesy” or something. There is no need to spell tortillaz with a z. An s would be sufficient. But I digress.

These things are made up of a mixture of puffed rice and corn (they’re air-baked instead of deep fried) and are Quaker’s attempt at making a healthy alternative to a nacho cheese Dorito. They’re the same size and shape as Doritos and they also seem to have the exact same bright orange cheese powder on them. How do they taste in comparison?

They’re a lot lighter and are, if I’m not mistaken, just thinner versions of the Quaker rice cakes. But they taste good, so I don’t mind. These things are a really good healthier alternative to Doritos. The cheese tastes exactly the same to me. They’re light and crispy and your fingers still get that orange cheese powder coating (which is either disgusting or lovely, depending on who you’re talking to. I tend to lean towards the “grossed out” side of things on this issue). The only thing that’s missing is the excessive grease that coats the inside of a Doritos bag, which also ends up on your hands/fingers when you’re eating them. I would definitely buy these again, because they’re a solid snack, even a week after their “best before” date.

4/5

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Purchased at: CVS
Price: $1.00 (on sale)

This Vitamin Water is a black cherry and lime flavor. Not only are those two of my favorite fruits (and fruit flavors), but Dan Ellis once Tweeted about how much he liked it. Yeah, all it took to get me to buy this was an unpaid endorsement posted on Twitter by a hockey player whose team I don’t follow. I’m easy.

This stuff smells really great when you open the bottle – light and fruity, with a definite cherry aroma. I’m not really picking up any lime, though. I wasn’t expecting the cherry to smell so strong, but it’s okay.

The cherry smell is so noticeable because this is probably about 99% cherry flavored and only 1% lime, if that. I didn’t smell any lime, and I certainly didn’t taste any, either. Like all other Vitamin Water flavors, this also tastes pretty watered down – imagine what a watered down bottle of Nyquil would taste like, and this is what you’d get.

1.5/5

Review: Pretzel M&Ms

June 8, 2010

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Purchased at: Target
Price: $.67

I’ve been on a mission to find these things since I first read about them a month or so ago, and I finally stumbled upon them at Target this afternoon. I was in the checkout lane and was just getting ready to pay for my stuff when the little blue bag caught my eye and I grabbed it as fast as I possibly could. The cashier gave me a weird look, and I just shrugged and said “I love chocolate covered pretzels.”

I could barely wait to tear into these things. I’m not a huge fan of sweets (I like them, but if I’m given the choice between something sweet or something salty, 99% of the time I will choose the salty), so the idea of M&Ms with pretzels inside of them really appeals to me.

These M&Ms are pretty big – about the size of the peanut M&Ms. And I might be crazy here, but I did think that the candy coating on the outside was thinner than it usually is. And there isn’t a ton of chocolate either. The pretzels have a nice crunch and aren’t overly salty, and the texture/flavor of the pretzels really works well with the chocolate and the candy coating. Texturally, they remind me of the crispy M&Ms (which I loved) that were out a few years ago.

These M&Ms are also a lot healthier than most items you’d grab from the candy display at the checkout line at a grocery store. One package only has 150 calories and 5 grams of fat, which isn’t too bad for a mid-afternoon sugar craving. I will definitely be buying these again if I can manage to find them anywhere else.

4.5/5

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Purchased at: Kroger’s
Price: $.60 (on sale)

My first thought upon seeing this yogurt was “How the hell do you make yogurt taste like cake?” And then I looked to the right of this container and saw that there was also a red velvet cake flavored yogurt and thought “you’ve GOT to be kidding me.” For only $.60, I couldn’t go without trying one of these two flavors. Pineapple upside down cake won in the end, because it sounded less likely to make me gag. Red velvet flavored yogurt sounds bizarre and WRONG.

The best part about pineapple upside down cake is the buttery brown sugar crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. There is no argument about that being the best part. It is, without a doubt, the only reason people like pineapple upside down cake so much. Obviously, you can’t get a gooey, buttery, brown sugary crust on yogurt. It’s missing. And I’m not getting any flavor even remotely similar to the crust in this yogurt.

I’m also pretty sure that this is just plain vanilla yogurt with small pieces of pineapple in it. The base of pineapple upside down cake is a yellow/vanilla cake, so…it’s passable, I guess. It’s good yogurt – it’s smooth and silky, with nice pieces of pineapple swirled throughout it. That tang that is characteristic of so many yogurts (which I’m not a fan of) is not present in this one at all.

Points for good consistency and no tang.
No points for false promises of a healthy alternative to one of the most delicious cakes known to man.

3/5