Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lay's Kettle-Cooked Jalapeno and Cheddar

There are plenty of variations on the Kettle Chip around lately, and although it's difficult to beat the original Kettle Chips brand for pure quality, the new Lay's are a valiant effort.

I think these are even better than the Kettle Chips Jalapeno flavor, they're not as salty and don't make me feel really dehydrated after a few handfuls. The flavor is better too, a perfect balance of cheddar and jalapeno, the cheddar being slightly more apparent and the jalapeno giving a delicious, spicy aftertaste. The texture isn't as good as Kettle Chips but still great, they're thicker and crunchier than regular Lay's; the individual chips are very small though, which leads to a less satisfying crunch. Another thing I really like about these chips is the fact they're widely available in a smaller, 99cent bag. I eat a lot of junkfood and am very aware of this fact, so smaller bags make me feel less guilty, financially and physically.

So definitely give these a try, there may be other flavors available but these are the only ones I've seen in Toronto so far. If I can find more flavors I will either edit this review or make a new post about them.  There are more reviews to follow so stay tuned. Pepsi Throwback and Ruffles: Jalapeno Popper flavor are to come, among others.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I've been holding this one off for a while. I guess because Cheetos are a fairly monumental and iconic North American snack, they're also really disgusting but in the most delicious kind of way.  They also come in a ridiculously massive bag of 280 grams, hardcore snacking right here.

Usually I have the civility and willpower to photograph an unopened bag, but these are god damned Cheetos we're talking about, it's impossible not to open them immediately and start devouring them with all the enthusiasm of a starving dog who wandered into a sausage factory.
For my European readers you might be wondering what they're like; British readers might be familiar with Cheesy Wotsits, Cheetos are like those if they'd spent some quality time in Chernobyl for a few months, they're also corn snacks, covered in cheese-powder, only Cheetos are bigger, greasier, saltier and completely caked with cheese dust. I imagine every individual Cheeto probably takes a few minutes off a person's life, but it's probably worth it. My girlfriend was just worryingly lecturing me about their content, I've eaten about 250 grams of them since last night, she's informed me that I have consumed a gram of trans-fat that will never leave my body and probably clog my arteries... still worth it.

OK, I'll be honest, this image does kind of disgust me. When I think that I've eaten dozens of these things, a half a pound of them in the space of about 12 hours, it is somewhat worrying... BUT THEY'RE SO GOOD. I should probably give a brief history of Cheetos. Although there are many variants, the two main varieties are puffs, as shown here, and the crunchy ones. The crunchy ones have a firmer texture as you'd imagine and actually came out first. They originally appeared in 1948 as Chee-tos and were marketed more towards adults than kids, the original mascot was a mouse who spoke like an English butler about his dignified snack, that angle changed over time. Now they're marketed by an awfully 90's and hip cheetah called Chester, who sports shades and flies airplanes, he reminds me of Poochy from The Simpsons, a focus-group 'cool' mascot to appeal to the kids. There are many other variants around the world, just this year in Japan they released a Pepsi flavor! I've also tried the Jalapeno and Cheddar ones which are absolutely delicious.

But in conclusion, I have to ask myself, as I sit here with orange-stained fingernails and a bloated tummy, do I ever want to eat these things again? The obvious answer is no, but somehow I doubt this has been my last tango with Chester Cheetah.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Doritos: Black Pepper Jack

One of two new limited edition flavors of Doritos, the other being Pizza flavor. I think these were around before and Frito Lay bring them back every few years for novelty value.

The good news is that they're really delicious. They have a creamy flavor at first, followed by a great peppery aftertaste, just like the cheese they're named after. When you eat the first few, they seem a little bit bland but it just takes a little while for the flavor to kick in, and when it does, it's really good.
The chips themselves are more pale-looking than most Doritos. They have the same Doritos texture you know and love.

I was going to review the Pizza flavor ones but I don't have a whole lot to say about them. They're kinda gross but I don't like pizza flavored things in general. I'd much rather grab a slice of pizza from one of Toronto's many good and cheap pizza restaurants. If you like pizza-flavored things then by all means check them out, they taste the way you'd expect them to. The Black Pepper Jack are definitely superior, although not in the same league as the now rare Inferno.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Arizona Chocolate Fudge Float

Appetizing name isn't it? And the actual can is even more alluring. It was the beautiful art that drew me in.

Arizona is a popular, low-price range of ice teas and sodas from the USA, they're sold here in Canada too. Some of their best products include their Green Tea with Honey and Strawberry/Kiwi Punch. They only cost 99cent too which is a bargain because the cans are huge, around 700ml.

This particular product is unusual for Arizona as it contains milk, chocolate syrup and fudge. The weird thing though, it's made with carbonated water! Yeah, when I bought this I was hoping for a thick and creamy beverage but unfortunately this stuff is a little too thin, It even looks transparent as it's being poured.

There are instructions on the can to lightly swirl the drink after opening because the chocolate syrup sinks to the bottom. I did this, but it was still far too watery. For me, it was like someone took a nice Mars Drink or some chocolate milk, poured 10ml into a glass, and then topped it up with water. It's also a pretty nasty color when poured.

So as you can see, such a  beautiful can masks a rather fecal-looking, watery, bland-tasting liquid that doesn't really live up to its awesome name. Others may enjoy it, I just can't handle a chocolate drink with the consistency of water. There's also an insane cocktail of sugar, various syrups and artificial sweeteners in the ingredients list so it's not the healthiest beverage option available - even for the junk food connoisseur..

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blair's Death Rain! - Buffalo Wings Chips.

Haven't had the chance to post over the last week, but I return with more spicy, savory snacking goodness in the form of Blair's Buffalo Wing chips!

Remember how I was saying that the Ruffles: Hot Wings are my favorite chips? Well, they've just been replaced. These things are incredible! Blair's is a well-known American company loved by fans of Spicy food all over the western world. They specialize in hot sauces, and unlike a lot of other companies, their sauces are genuinely HOT as well as flavorful. Although these chips are considered to be 'medium heat' by Blair's standards; those not used to spicy food will probably have a tough time with these as they contain real habaneros in the seasoning; hardcore spice monsters will find them pleasantly tingly but not challenging. The seasoning is delicious, slightly sweet at first, then it gives way to a delicious spicy heat that doesn't linger too long on the tongue. The actual chips are also top quality They're thick, crunchy, kettle-cooked chips with a great texture, superior even to the North American Kettle-Chips brand and on par with the European ones.

There are no negative aspects to this product whatsoever, however, they're not widely available here in Canada. So far, the only place I've been able to find them is at 7/11 and unfortunately they're quite expensive, I think around 4 dollars for a 160gram bag, probably due to them being imported from the States. If you find yourself in Canada and in need of some American chips/candy, head for 7/11, just make sure you have plenty of cash, although you will still pay less than in a specialist store.

Oh, and these aren't the only chips available from Blair's, there's an even tastier and spicier Habanero flavor which I plan on reviewing sometime in the near future! The Habanero ones are probably the second-spiciest chips in the world, next to the Ghost Pepper flavor Blair's which are currently unavailable in Canada and therefore out of my reach. (unless somebody wants to send me some)

Stay tuned for some upcoming specials, including a review of some wacky new Irish chocolate bars and reviews of the new limited edition Doritos flavors.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ruffles Hot Wings flavor

Despite the really ugly packaging, these chips are absolutely incredible. It should be noted that they don't really taste like chicken wings, more like delicious Cajun wing sauce. They're slightly sweet at first but soon give way to a delicious spicy heat which is similar to Louisiana Hotsauce. When I checked the ingredients, I was surprised to see some high-quality stuff in there like aged cayenne peppers and garlic. There is no chicken of any kind in the ingredients, which, to me, is a good thing but that might annoy some people. Unfortunately there is one ingredient keeping these from being vegan and that's buttermilk powder.  Asides from that, these are probably the perfect chip.  They're thick and crunchy but not hard, the texture is perfect, they're also quite generous with the seasoning, if you're not used to spicy food, you may be overwhelmed from eating too many of these amazing chips in one go.

Of all the chip flavors I've tried here in Canada, nothing even comes close to Hot Wings Ruffles. Although not extremely hot, fans of spicy food will adore these chips, and non-fans could well be converted by their delicious spicy seasoning and amazing texture. I hear there is an American variety called Molten Hot Wings but apparently they pale in comparison to their Canadian cousins. Give these a try, they're delicious.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Zesty Cheese Doritos

Another uniquely Canadian flavor. It's a bit hard to write much about these chips, they're not bad by any means, but not particularly good either. Next to Lightly Salted, these are the most bland Doritos in existence. Unlike the superior Nacho Cheese flavor, these ones are devoid of any kind of spiciness. They taste like regular tortillas with some cheesy dusting which seems to be made up of parmesan and cheddar cheese with a hint of onion. They're very edible but also rather boring and perhaps a little too salty, I think I'd probably prefer to just eat regular salted tortilla chips. The seasoning is by no means offensive but it leaves a lot to be desired. The flavor certainly isn't Zesty despite the name, maybe a hint of lemon juice flavoring would give these chips a much-needed kick, they're essentially the Cheeto of the Dorito family, I'd rather eat a bag of Cheetos any day. I guess people who don't like spiciness and really love cheese will enjoy these chips, I'd personally rather the Jalapeno and Cheddar, Inferno, or Spicy Nacho flavor for a cheesy treat that isn't as boring as a Walking Dead marathon.

Another massive downside to these chips is that the flavor really lingers, don't eat them when you're out and about unless you want to smell like an old sock, I ate this bag about an hour ago and I can still taste them, I'm going to go scrub my teeth now. Remember when I said they're not bad? I take it back, they suck. Eugh.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chunks Ahoy! Triple Chocolate

I was scouring the cookie isle in Sobey's last week in search of something interesting for the blog and came across these delicious looking things.Chunks Ahoy! Triple Chocolate contain white, milk, and dark chocolate chunks. They seemed really promising so I decided to buy them and find out. Upon opening them, I was a little disappointed by the lack of chunks compared to what's shown on the packaging.

Despite the seeming lack of chunks, I was consoled by the thought that these cookies would be really exceptional, perhaps even coming close to the glory of President's Choice Peanut butter cookies (see earlier entry), but I was wrong!

When I first bit into one, the immediate flavor was not of chocolate, or cookie dough, instead they just taste like cheap, desiccated coconut, what a let down. Back home in Ireland, and in the UK, cheap biscuits usually taste of coconut, not in a delicious way, just the dull favor of desiccated coconut, I assume it's a byproduct that they use to bulk up their ingredients, I'm not averse to coconut at all, I just hate when it's used as filler. The texture of these cookies was a major let-down too, they're sort of brittle and dry, there is no hint of chewiness to them, they come apart in the mouth like powdery sugar. So yeah, I was basically duped by the nice packaging and the well-known brand name. The packaging and name are decadent and promising but the actual product doesn't live up to the expectations they set. It sounds like I'm judging these really harshly, but they aren't horrible by any means, they're adequate I suppose, other people might enjoy them more than I do, I guess I've just set my cookie standards pretty high.

So in conclusion, I don't recommend these, get President's Choice instead!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Peanut Butter Snickers

I was excited at the sight of these things when I happened upon them at the local Russian-owned dollar store. I love the occasional snickers even though they're a bit too heavy to eat on a regular basis; I also love peanut butter so it seemed like a win-win situation.

Alas, my enthusiasm was premature though, I was pretty disappointed with these things. They're smaller and flatter than a snickers, have very bland chocolate that just tastes like a sugary coating; the type of nougat they use is also the cheap kind, it's very white and has nuts inside it and takes up the majority of the bar; the caramel also sucks, it's stodgy and devoid of any real taste. At first I thought it was because the bar was quite warm, so I left the other one (it's a double pack) in the fridge over night and tried it the next day. It tasted a little better but it still sucked. There is a large layer of peanut butter which is good, but the other ingredients just drown out the taste.

So as you may have guessed, I don't recommend these things, it feels like a pound of sugar dyed and shaped to look like different things, it has almost no flavor and the texture is like an old leather boot dipped in chocolate, avoid at all costs.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ruffles: All Dressed. A uniquely Canadian flavor.

So here we are at the vague and mysterious Canada-exclusive flavor that is 'All Dressed'.

As you can see, the packaging depicts a salt shaker, a red pepper and an onion, but there is no official description available as to what exactly these chips are supposed to taste like. To me, the taste suggests sour cream, salt, possibly vinegar, possibly pepper, tomato and some other stuff. At first, both the name of the flavor and the actual taste weirded me out a bit, it's just do damned vague! But they're actually delicious, it just takes a while to come round to the strange, nondescript idea of these enigmatic Canadian snacks.


As you can see, they look like regular ruffles, there's a slight bit of reddish dusting in the form of seasoning but it's barely noticeable to the naked eye without the aid of a zoom lens. The texture is also identical to regular Ruffles, for those who haven't tried Ruffles chips, they're thick, crinkle-cut chips that are very popular here in North America and will probably break the European market soon, I noticed before moving here that they'd started selling Paprika, Sour Cream, and Original flavors in Irish and English shops like Tesco and Dunnes. I doubt Europe will ever see All-Dressed though, or the incredible Hot Wings flavor which will be reviewed here soon.

So as a conclusion, these are good chips, but are they great? Nope. They're very flavorful which is a good thing, but they aren't incredible by any means. I'd still recommend trying them if you love crisps/chips, they are kind of delicious in their own way, just slightly strange. Ruffles are so good in general and I think their delicious texture and size helps boost the rating of the All-Dressed flavor slightly. Give them a try, and hopefully you won't be sorry!

Thanks for reading. My next review will be for Peanut Butter Snickers.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Banana Nut Cheerios

I love sweet breakfast cereal, always have, the stuff is amazing, although, I've never been a huge fan of Cheerios, the Honey Nut ones were OK but nothing spectacular. Well, my opinion on Cheerios has drastically changed having experienced the wonder that is Banana Nut Cheerios. They seem to be made of corn and brown sugar, but they also include real banana and nut flavors  The best thing however, is that they turn the milk into banana milkshake! Friends on  the other side of the Atlantic might remember a Kellogg's cereal called 'Banana Bubbles' which was essentially banana flavored Rice Krispies, they were a bit horrible, but worth getting through a bowl of them just to drink the milk afterwards. The beauty of BNC's is that they taste amazing, they're really crunchy and sweet and they also have the benefit of delicious flavored milk.

For an even tastier treat, I recommend using Almond Milk, almond milk is great in general, it's tasty and nutritious and doesn't come from a factory-farmed animal. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not preaching, if you like regular milk that's fine, I just find the idea of my delicious Banana Nut Cheerios more appealing without cow milk all over them, the blend of almond and banana in the milk is to die for. I eat these as a snack, as well as for breakfast. Damn fine cereal as Agent Cooper might say. They may even be replacing Weetos as my all-time faves. Also try Apple and Cinnamon Cheerios, not as good as Banana Nut but still delicious. I've also mixed the Apple and Cinnamon ones with Banana Nut in the same bowl, and it works, surprisingly.

Stay tuned for the next update, probably on Hot Wings flavored Ruffles!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mary's Organic Crackers

Although certainly a snack, it's extremely unfair to call these junk food, as they have solid food value and are actually really healthy. You'll have to excuse the slightly blurry image of the packaging, lighting conditions suck in my apartment today.

I've never really been one for health food, I tried these because my vegan girlfriend swears by them and eats them all the time. And, as usual, she didn't let me down, these crackers are absolutely delicious. They're small, thin crackers made from brown rice, sesame, poppy, quinoa, flax seeds, and a blend of herbs. They're completely organic, gluten free, vegan, and whole grain. Made of really good stuff, and not overly expensive either.  Now that the healthy stuff is out of the way, let's get to the important issue, the flavor! These crackers are delicious on their own, and come in several other varieties including Black Pepper, and Onion, among others. The texture is super crunchy but light at the same time. Here's a front and back view.

Although I enjoy these crackers on their own, I soon discovered that they are the ultimate vessel for nice Hot Sauce. I wouldn't use anything overtly spicy on them, save the habanero sauce for dinner, but Sriracha hot sauce goes really well on these, it actually enhances the seed flavors and takes away from the slight dryness of these brittle and tasty snacks. In turn, the crackers also help to bring out the flavor of the sauce; they compliment each other perfectly.

So, as usual, I have a positive assessment of these delicious, healthy snacks. I'd recommend them to anyone who enjoys savory foods, they're a healthier alternative to chips, but even health aside, they're delicious to the core, the fact they're healthy is just an added bonus for me. Try them out, you won't be disappointed.

Mug Root Beer

Root Beer is pretty strange to most European palates, but being a kid who liked to swallow toothpaste, I really love this stuff. That description might be a little extreme, but every time I drink root beer it feels like I am finally allowed to swallow that toothpaste,  and I enjoy every drop! Throwback-adolescent-wish-fulfillment works for me, nostalgic indulgence if you will.

But to be honest, it's a lot better than toothpaste, it just shares some of the flavor with that old red-colored Sensodyne toothpaste. How else to describe the flavor? Hmm, perhaps butterscotch mixed with cloves and a lot of sugar. This particular brand is really good, one of the better ones I've tried. I think the only Root Beer I would recommend ahead of this one is A & W. Most good Root Beer is caffeine free, you may feel ripped off by that but caffeine was never a traditional ingredient in the stuff. Root Beer has been brewed here in North America for well over a hundred years, it's traditionally made with the root or bark of the Sassafras tree and sometimes comes with very low alcohol content but all of the brands available in stores here are non-alcoholic. It's rare to find Root Beer outside of North America although it is sometimes available in places like Ireland and the UK, but only as a novelty item, it's not sold on a broad scale.

So yeah, don't let my description put you off. If you're from outside North America and you like to import sodas or buy them on e-bay (you'd be surprised what you can find and how cheap it can be), give some Root Beer a try, it's very different to other soft drinks and a truly authentic North American flavor.

President's Choice: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Cookies (The Decadent)

I paid a visit to the convenience store yesterday and picked up some of these cookies at random  The name alone sold me.  A name they live up to! Despite the lackluster packaging.

These cookies are absolutely delicious, I can see why they shoehorn the word 'decadent' into the title. They have a really soft and crumbly texture and it feels like about 70% of the cookie consists of chocolate and peanut butter. They're incredibly sweet but not sickeningly so.The individual cookies are quite chunky and misshapen, deformed by the excess of their ingredients, sweet delicious deformity... ommmm.

The only other product I've tried from President's Choice was a bag of Piri piri chips, those were also amazing, so yeah, I won't hesitate to try out their stuff in future. These cookies might be the best I've ever tried from a packet; although the Fudgeeos were delicious, they really pale in comparison to these chunky wonders. The only downside these have against Fudgeeos, is that they're not vegan-friendly, but alas, the taste is worth it from my point of view. Just look at the texture of these things!

So to sum it up, these cookies are incredible. If you enjoy peanut butter and chocolate you simply NEED to try these ASAP. They're only 3 dollars for a hefty 300 gram pack, more than even I could eat in a single day. I  managed to get through 1 of the 3 rows of cookies in the pack over the space of 24 hours. The rest will last me another couple of days, so good value too for such a decadent cookie.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next review, probably of Mug Root Beer!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

FudgeeO Cookies

To give a little more context to this blog, it's North American food from the perspective of a European, so many of the products are all exciting and new to me.

FudgeeO's are cookies made by Nabisco in most of the world, and by Christie here in Canada. They're something of a more decadent version of the humble Oreo, two chocolate biscuits sandwiching a delicious fudge-flavored center. Like Oreos, they also come in a Double Stuff variety which I look forward to trying out. The cookies themselves are delicious, similar to Oreos with a slightly lighter texture.

They feel slightly lighter than Oreos but taste just as chocolaty, if not more so. If you've ever tried the Fudge flavored Oreos, think of these as a superior version, the filling is softer and more abundant. You can still make your own Double Stuffs by carefully twisting off a biscuit from two cookies and sticking the two remaining sides with the filling intact together, the cream is of a softer consistency though, so use a lighter touch! Overall I find the filling a lot sweeter than that of Oreos which is a good thing if you want to just eat one or two, but a drawback if like me, you plan on devouring a lot of them in one go.

So ,overall, my verdict is a positive one! If you've got a sweet tooth and a love for chocolate, try them out. The filling doesn't exactly taste like real fudge but it's still delicious! Ideal for a movie snack or with a nice cup of coffee. Give these a try!

Doritos Inferno

Hello and welcome to my new blog. I'll be using it to write about various food I'm eating here in the glorious city of Toronto. The blog will focus a lot on junk food, since, despite being 30 years old, I have the appetite of a 15 year old weedhead.

And with that, let us jump into the first post; Doritos Inferno. I tried these chips for the first time yesterday, assuming they'd be fairly hot given the title and the flashy packaging adorned with flames on a black background. When I first opened the bag, I noticed the chips themselves are a similar color to the Spicy Nacho flavor except with seemingly less seasoning. I'd show you a picture of them if I hadn't already eaten the entire bag, below is a pic of some of the crumbs!  I'll have to eat more bags before I know whether or not the amount of seasoning is consistent, sometimes it varies with Doritos.

After eating one, I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of heat, it seemed the tried and tested Spicy Nacho flavor still had the crown for spiciest flavor, but after a couple more mouthfuls I was pleasantly surprised by the delayed spiciness that crept up. They've actually got quite a kick to them! Hardcore chili hounds won't notice much of a kick, but for Doritos they really are pretty hot!

So if you like Doritos and you enjoy a bit of a spicy kick, check these out. They have a nice cheddar flavor with a substantially spicy aftertaste. I've read that the Mexican recipe is nowhere near as hot as the Canadian variety, so seek out the Canuck ones if you can.