April 30, 2009

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bar

naturevalley.jpgI’m not a massive fan of granola bars, but I’ve been stuck packing them in lunches for some time now as a result of there being nothing of superior (i.e. deliciously junky) in the pantry. Nature Valley’s “Sweet and Salty Nut Bar” (Peanut Edition) was, for a brief period, one of my favorite granola treats when I wanted something to stuff in my face quickly in lieu taking time to prepare a decent meal. These bars consist of your standard granola coated together with sugary glaze, with an added bottom layer of sweet peanut butter dip the make the whole formula an unoriginal, twice-as-large version of Chewy Peanut Butter Bars. I enjoyed the bars greatly… at first. I can’t place the exact reasoning behind it all, but I became sick of the things with incredible speed. Sweet and Salty Nut Peanut Bars are a tasty snack and I would suggest picking them up for yourself or the kids’ lunches, just don’t buy them in bulk.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Elric | Comments (2)

April 26, 2009


u-no.jpgI’ve never met a candy bar that I didn’t like – until now. After seeing the U-NO candy bar in stores for as long as I can remember, I finally bought one for the first time. It was the shiny, silver wrapper that caught my eye and the description of “Rich Creamy Chocolate” that convinced me to buy it. I was surprised to find that the candy bar is neither rich, creamy, nor very chocolaty. The center of the candy bar, which the manufacturer describes as “truffle-like,” is the real problem here. Its dry, crumby texture tasted like chalk in my mouth and had a weak chocolate flavor. It’s a mystery to me why this foul substance would be at the center of a candy bar. You might want to use it to scrub your kitchen sink, but you certainly don’t want to ingest it. My only consolation was that the U-NO was on sale, so I didn’t waste too much money on it. Even if someone offers you one for free, politely decline and go eat some dirt instead. It will taste better.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

April 23, 2009

Oreo Fun Stix

oreofunstix.jpgRecently I tried Oreo Fun Stix on a whim, as they happened to be resting uneaten in my pantry. As I removed the interesting straw-like wafers from the wrapper, I was immediately reminded of Pepperidge Farm's Pirouettes, my favorite of all snacks, which set my expectations a little higher. The similarity was very close, except the Oreo Fun Stix contained a membrane of classic Oreo fill in its hollow. I poured a cold glass of milk and took a swig. I was impressed by the way the inner fill created the perfect straw, but it did not change the taste of the milk as I had hoped. After downing the glass, I bit into the nicely sogged crumble wafer and found it to be just like the original Oreo in taste, which I had predicted and hoped for. A tasty treat if you love your Oreos and milk, but mostly just a novelty for a younger demographic. Not a must-buy for hardcore snackers, as the Oreo Fun Stix amusement does not quite meet up with its price and lack of versatility. Want a true wafer? Pick up some Pirouettes.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Elric | Comments (1)

April 20, 2009

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality

arby1.jpg arby2.jpgIt’s been one of my pet peeves for years, and now someone has documented it with pictures. I don’t expect the fast food I buy to look exactly like the pictures in the advertisements. After all, there's a reason I'm only paying 99 cents for that burrito. But, it would be nice if the companies put just a little more effort into serving items that resemble the picture they are showing us – or stop showing unrealistic pictures of food we’ll never actually see in real life.

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality [via Lifehacker]

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

April 16, 2009

Doritos Tacos at Midnight

doritostacos.jpgRecently, I’ve spotted a few new flavors of Doritos here in Sacramento. I’ll get around to trying them all eventually, but the first one I bought was Tacos at Midnight. It's one flavor in the new “Late Night” series, which also includes Last Call Jalapeño Popper. It appears that by “tacos at midnight,” Doritos was thinking tacos from a taco truck or taqueria (or maybe from Tacos Tacos Tacos Tacos) rather than Taco Bell, Del Taco, Taco John’s, or Taco Bueno. The flavor is heavy on the onions and cilantro and much spicier than the regular Taco flavor of Doritos. You also get some tomato and sour cream flavor. Overall, I like the flavor and would definitely buy Tacos at Midnight over many of the other lesser Doritos flavors. Now, if they can only come up with a Carne Asada Burritos at Midnight flavor…

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (22)

April 10, 2009

Häagen-Daz Five Passion Fruit

hdfive.jpgHäagen-Daz has taken the “less is more” approach with their new line of ice cream. Each variety is made with only five ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and a main flavoring. The result is delicious, intense flavor with nothing to get in the way. Lots of other ice creams are made with things like guar gum, carob bean gum, cellulose gum, and carrageenan, which makes me wonder: if these aren’t really needed to make a good ice cream, then why put them in there? One of the flavors in the lineup is Passion Fruit. I typically like my ice cream to have lots of big chucks of chocolate or fudge or caramel or brownies or peanut butter or cookie dough or candy bar or chocolate covered pretzels or ... well, you get the idea. So, I wasn't expecting to enjoy the Passion Fruit ice cream as much as I did. It explodes with tropical fruit flavor so intense that it almost overwhelms the taste buds. You’ll think that you are eating an actual passion fruit, not ice cream. If the incredible flavor wasn't enough, the ice cream also has the smooth, creamy texture that you expect from Häagen-Daz. It is really, really delicious. Häagen-Daz Five comes in six other varieties: Mint, Ginger, Vanilla Bean, Milk Chocolate, Brown Sugar, and Coffee. Each is delicious (yes, I’ve tried them all) and deserves to be in your freezer - but not for long!

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

April 8, 2009

How to Make a Choco Taco

The Choco Taco is one of the finest ice cream desserts you’ll ever eat. The only problem is that they can be difficult to find. You might find them in gas stations, convenience stores, or the ice cream truck driving around your neighborhood. Years ago, they were sold in Taco Bells but I haven’t seen them there for a while. Serious Eats has an article about how to make a Choco Taco from scratch. It’s a labor-intensive process but the end result looks delicious, maybe even tastier than a real Choco Taco.

How to Make a Choco Taco [Serious Eats]

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

April 6, 2009

Mountain Dew Voltage

mdvoltage.jpgIn 2008, Mountain Dew let the public vote to decide which of three flavors would be added to the Mountain Dew lineup. One of the candidates, Revolution, was reviewed on Phoood and was found to be pretty good, but not revolutionary. The winner was Voltage, which is flavored with raspberry, citrus, and ginseng. It has a nice flavor and is easy to drink, but has a sweetness that kind of reminded me snow cone syrup. Not that this is a necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not seven years old. Ultimately, the name Voltage doesn’t really fit very well. I was expecting something that would electrify my taste buds but instead got a pretty tame flavor that will appeal to lots of people, most of them under the age of 18.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)