Tag: taste test (Page 2 of 2)

The Ecstasies & Horrors Of Trying Eight Flavors Of Oreos: North Iowa Bloggers Taste Test

I don’t want to eat another Oreo for 10 years.

Seriously. I saw some at a picnic yesterday and passed.

It’s been two months since the North Iowa Bloggers got together to taste weird things, which is way too long. We reconvened this week to test taste weird Oreos and celebrate fall birthdays.

Beth set up this impressive Oreo tasting station complete with a smiley face voting system. She really is the hostess with the mostest. You’ll notice the table is not only decorated with flowers, but photos of Donna & Laura. We make “flat” versions of bloggers who can’t attend our taste testing events because we’re like that.

flat people

Here’s a glimpse of our potluck buffet. I brought bacon-wrapped figs stuffed with basil-lemon goat cheese pictured below on the left.

meal Collage

Potlucks are the best because they feed my dip obsession. We enjoyed Pulled Pork, baked potato dip, bagel dip, caramel apple dip, strawberry-basil balsamic foccacia, savory cheese dip & that Midwestern Snickers salad, something I’ve only seen in Iowa. It was imperative that we create a substantial base in our stomachs in preparation for the Oreos.

We sacrificed one of each cookie to create this artwork. So yes, exactly eight Oreos were harmed in the process.

oreo raibow Frame

Top Row: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Berry, Root Beer Float, Peanut Butter
Bottom Row: Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Vanilla Birthday Cake

My three favorite flavors are Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter, and Cookie Dough.

Good Oreo Collage

Pumpkin Spice: I was surprised this cookie tasted more like cookie butter than a pumpkin spice latte. “Hey guys, it tastes like Speculoos!” I shouted.

Everyone’s mouth dropped and then there was silence.

My mouth was full of cookie. And since I had no idea how to pronounce “Speculoos,” having only read the word but never hearing it pronounced, everyone thought I said the cookie tasted like a speculum. I promise you it didn’t, unless speculums taste like Speculoos or you really hate pumpkin spice. Not that I would know or anything.

Peanut Butter: Unless you hate peanut butter, this chocolate-peanut butter combo will not offend.

Cookie Dough: This was the last Oreo I tasted. Frankly, there’s nothing that exciting about stuffing a cookie with cookie-dough flavored frosting, but it tasted innocuous enough and didn’t make me cringe, so, up it went up into my top three.

The Oreos that made my face go like this were banished to the bottom five.

Bad Cookie Collage with poopy

My least favorite flavors were Root Beer, Berry, Birthday Cake and Berry.

Root Beer: I took this shocked and appalled selfie (Oreoelfie?) with root beer Oreo residue still clinging to the sides of my mouth. The root beer flavor in the frosting was strong. Like Vicks Vapor Rub strong. I could feel root beer vapors wafting from my tongue into the deep recesses of my brain with each inhele. I wouldn’t say that I wanted to die, but I can’t say I didn’t want the Oreo to die. Root beer cookies just no.

Berry: I hated this icky, fake-fruit flavor. Many of us thought it smacked of pink medicine.

Caramel Apple: Again, I disliked the fake fruit flavor, this time in green apple. It wasn’t medicinal like the berry, but still gross. Are these fruity flavors the precursor to Jolly Rancher Oreos? We couldn’t find the fruit punch flavor in our local stores and none of us cried about it.

Birthday Cake (Vanilla & Chocolate): I spit out my first bite of Vanilla Birthday Cake Oreo before forgoing the chocolate. Until this day, I’d avoided Birthday Cake flavored everything, which makes me biased. I don’t even like real birthday cake.

North Dakota blogger Molly Yeh writes about Funfetti and Birthday Cake flavors in a post about Funfetti Biscotti. She hits the nail on the head when she identifies clear, artificial vanilla extract as tasting like nostalgia. For many, this tastes like the grade school birthday parties and vanilla lip glosses Yeh mentions.

For me, the flavor tastes like the smell of the tweeny body splashes my friends used to douse themselves in after gym class that always made me nauseous. Birthday Cake and Funfetti enthusiasts will like these Oreos.

Visit my fellow North Iowa bloggers to find out which Oreos brought them ecstasy or horror. Our opinions differ widely. Who knows what we will try next!

Group Photo

Don’t ask me why I’m holding a Berry Oreo.

My Fellow Taste Testers
Amy, Modern Rural Living
Beth, It’s Just Life
Katy, Learning As I Go
Sara, All In An Iowan Mom’s Day & Travel With Sara
Val, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

(In Absentia)
Donna, Donnahup.com
Laura, All Things Travel 

The Ten Most Memorable Foods We Ate During The 90’s + Lunchable Pepperoni Pizza Revisit

I missed throw-back Thursday, but I want to take a moment to talk about those 90’s foods we ate as kids and revisit an old favorite.

Munch ’ems
Just the mere sight of a box brought the flavor of Munch ’ems Sour Cream & Onion and cheese powders back into my mouth, two decades later where I am unhappy to say they are still lingering. My lunches were accompanied by so many Munch ’ems.

WOW! Chips
WOW! chips were supposedly a revolutionary fat-free potato chips fried in a magical substance called Olestra. People gobbled WOW! potato chips and Doritos like crazy until they learned that eating them in large quantities caused diarrhea and gas, and that Olestra prevents the body from absorbing vitamins.

WOW! we’re fat-free chips became WOW! you have diarrhea which is probably why I haven’t seen or heard the word Olestra since the 90’s. My parents were very strict about portion control, so Wow!-induced intestinal distress was never an issue for us (that I can remember). I hope America learned to eat real chips. Just not too many.

Snackwells Fat Free Cookies
My folks were really into the fat-free and sugar-free food movement that surged (no pun intended) during the 90’s.

Our cupboards were always filled with these green boxes of Snackwell’s diet cookies. I ate them, but did not especially like them. As an adult, I’d rather eat no cookie than a fat and sugar-free cookie. I am morally opposed to diet desserts which is why I won’t bring myself to purchase Snackwell’s products for research purposes.

If you are feeling nostalgic, view this compilation of Snackwell’s advertisements that aired between 1993-1998. As the video’s poster aptly states, click only if you are willing to sacrifice 13-minutes of your life you will never get back.

Clearly Canadian
Damn, I actually miss this stuff.

My parents might have bought many of these processed food in the 90’s, but they made sure we ate a serving of fruit and vegetables with each meal and limited our soft drink consumption. Jake is always amused to find I attempt to enforce similar rules as an adult, most especially the “two-cookie” rule. We were brought up to believe one should never eat more than two cookies at a time.

We could drink Clearly Canadian as a treat. The company branded these sodas as a healthier option than regular soda and offered fruit flavors that were less common at the time. Whether or not they were healthier, I am not sure, but they sure were clear. My personal favorite was Mountain Blackberry.

Our public school did not sell soda pop in the lunch line, but they did sell lots of Clearly Canadians and slushies (because those are so much healthier). All the cool kids nursed bottles of Clearly Canadian and we felt peer-pressured to pass them down our long lunch tables so everyone could have a sip. This makes me gag, now.

Ok Soda
This mysterious Coca Cola soda only reached test markets between 1993-1995 and Minneapolis-St. Paul was fortunate enough to be included. The only place I ever bought this soda was from the vending machine at church before Wednesday night youth group or choir.

I was drawn to the strange designs on the cans. It was very moody and kind of depressing which probably matched my adolescent frame of mind.

I remember the soda was clear, but can’t even remember what it tasted like. Only, that tasted was less exciting than I assumed based upon the marketing and packaging. According to urban legend, OK Soda tasted like every soda mixed together. I feel like that combination should have had more flavor . Actually, I think I just liked the moody can.

Dessert Yogurts
Just as Greek yogurt is all the rage these days, colorful, sugar-laden yogurts were popular in the 90’s.

We stocked cartons of these fat-free and sugar-free yogurts sweetened with aspartame which I always found to have a nasty, distinguishable flavor.

We ate Dannon Sprinkl’ins yogurt packaged with sprinkles that left colorful residue swirled throughout the product. I also remember eating a yogurt that came with a pouch of powder that you’d pour into the yogurt to transform its color and flavor.

Try not to gawk at the questionable bannanastrawberry in this Dannon commercial from 1994.

Worst of all was flourescent Trix yogurt of which I begged my parents to purchase. I think they still make it, but this is another item I can’t bring myself to indulge in, even for the sake of research.

Plantars Cheez Balls
We bought these by the tin. I can’t remember if my parents declared a certain number of cheese balls per serving, but the fact that they tore up the roof of my mouth if I ate too many may have been enough incentive to eat in moderation. I ate so many Cheez Balls throughout the 90’s that similar products are no longer appealing and this is very uncharacteristic of my junk food tastes.

Amazin’ Fruit
I saw a photo of Amazin’ Fruit on the Buzzfeed quiz How Many 90’s Foods Have You Tried and felt such a large emotional response that I added them to my list.

How could you forget this commercial?

I seem to remember my mom included them in our lunch boxes for special treats and bought bags for my brother and I to eat on the way home from piano lessons.They were highly coveted sweets had one been lucky enough to find a bag in his or her Halloween stash.

Shark Bites
I’m not sure what made Shark Bites fruit snacks more special than any other fruit snacks, except that they were shaped like a shark and are discontinued, making us all go “awwww,” out of nostalgia.

They made frequent appearances in my lunch bags (along with String Things that tasted like cherry cough syrup) and I liked the white ones the best.

Make your own pizza Lunchables.
Cold pizza is ok. But cold, assemble-your-own cold pizza? This was my favorite lunch to take to school.

We also ate other Lunchables as treats. Eventually, slimy rounds of lunch meat laden with gristle lost their appeal, no matter how pretty the packaging. As an adult, I revisited the Lunchables section for kicks and giggles which quickly transformed into horror. The Lunchables “without drink” are one thing. The combo packs are another.

Lunchable’s packages their meat, cracker and cheese combination with a Kit Kat and Capri Sun. The Luchables Uploaded line is another monster. One kit includes make your own cold chicken tacos + Cheez-Its, Oreos, a bottle of water and a packet of Kool-Aid tropical punch flavoring because God forbid our kids grow up to drink water that tastes like water, right?

The company notes each product’s nutritional “highlights.” This pizza variety is an “Excellent source of calcium and protein.”

Pizza Lunchables Revisited:

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I bought a pepperoni pizza Lunchable without drink at Target for $1.60 and invited Jake to join me on my revisit. I haven’t eaten a pizza Lunchable since middle school while Jake has never eaten one.

The little pizza crust discs are much smaller than I remember, which might not be such a bad thing. You get three.

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We assembled our first pizza.

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I watched Jake take his first bite. He likened the product to biting into a frozen pizza that was left to thaw.

I found the product to taste exactly like I remembered. I actually didn’t hate it and may or may not have helped myself to a second round.

“This is gross and you’re gross if you like it,” exclaims Jake. I guess that means I’m partially gross. I can live with that.

Obviously, I won’t be purchasing these again, but I must confess I did not find this trip down memory lane as revolting as Jake.

What foods defined your 90’s? What do you miss and what are you glad is discontinued?

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