Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wild Ophelia Barbeque Potato Chip Candy Bar

Fancy-pants candy company Wild Ophelia has put out a Barbeque Potato Chip candy bar. I love me some candy bar and I love me some BBQ chips so I couldn’t wait to try it. It didn't even seem all that weird. Salty-sweet is a great junk food  mix – movie theater popcorn and M&Ms for example. It was only the barbecue flavor element that I thought might screw it up. Turns out that wasn’t an issue because I couldn’t taste the BBQ at all. Not a little bit. I couldn’t even taste potato chip. Hell, I could barely taste the salt. Turns out the Wild Ophelia Barbecue Potato Chip candy bar just tastes like a dark chocolate Nestle Crunch bar.

I mean, it’s a pretty good dark chocolate Nestle Crunch bar, but that’s not what I signed up for. I wanted something odd. I wanted to see what BBQ potato chips mixed with chocolate tasted like. So, after Wild Ophelia let me down there was only one thing to do: Make my own.

Yep, I poured Hershey’s syrup over some BBQ Pop Chips. I can’t say I wasn’t a little hesitant to try this concoction but, in the end, it was pretty okay. Tasty, even. I mean, I’m not going to start eating all my chips this way but the BBQ flavor didn’t hurt at all. It might have actually enhanced the experience. I guess the biggest endorsement I can give Sullivan’s Barbeque/Chocolate Potato Chips is that I only needed to eat one for the taste test but I finished the whole plate. Who’s wild now, Ophelia?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Birch Beer

Birch beer is a carbonated soft drink made from birch bark’s herbal extracts. Some version of it goes back at least as far as the 1600s and I understand that it’s popular in the northeastern part of the United States, especially Pennsylvania. I grew up in Kentucky and never saw a birch beer so when I came across one at the local Rocket Fizz I thought I’d give it a shot. I mean, I like root beer; birch beer couldn’t be that different, right?

Look, I’m not here to knock it. There are weird foods from my childhood that I love. (Pimento cheese and pickle dog, anyone?) If I’d grown up in Birch Beer Country I’d have a fondness for birch beer too. Probably. Maybe. But, as it stands, the stuff tastes to this Kentucky boy like carbonated cough drops. Just a warning to my fellow Non-Northeasterners. Caveat Emptor y'all. 

Strawberry M&Ms

The M&Ms people could be getting a little desperate with the new limited edition flavors. I just saw that they’re planning something called “White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms” for this fall. White pumpkin pie? What even is that? I can only assume that these M&Ms will be meant to taste like a pumpkin pie made from one of those weird white pumpkins you occasionally find hanging around farmers' markets like Ghosts of Pumpkins Past. I’ve never seen anyone buy one, much less pie one and I’ve certainly never tasted a white pumpkin pie. Actually, now that I think about it, M&Ms could be on to something here. I mean, if you’re going to do a fake flavor, maybe your best bet is to make one that no one knows what it’s actually supposed to taste like in the first place. It’s kind of genius.

Or maybe it’s just weird. I don’t know. I’m in no position to criticize since I keep falling for their marketing ploy and buying and trying as many of their limited edition flavors as I can get my hands on. For example, my local Ralph’s only had the big size of the new Strawberry M&Ms so I grabbed it and growled even though I had no idea if they were any good or not. And how could they be good, really? Strawberry and chocolate aren’t a bad mix and I like peanut butter and strawberry jelly but strawberry/chocolate/peanut M&Ms sounds like some kind of unholy candy Frankenstein.

Before you get a mob of villagers together and pass out the torches and pitchforks, though, give the Strawberry M&Ms a taste. Actually, give ‘em two tastes. My first bite didn’t do much for me -- in fact, I thought it kind of tasted like someone had put an M&M candy shell around an old piece of Frankenberry cereal -- but the flavor grew on me and now I’m craving the damned things. I may have to get another one of those big bags before they’re gone forever. Turns out Strawberry M&Ms aren’t some Frankensteinian abomination after all. But they just might be the devil.