REVIEW: Dreyer’s/Edy’s Limited Edition S’mores

Happy summer! Yes, despite the fact that s’mores flavored products have already been circling about for months and rumors of new pumpkin spice treats are already surfacing, today marks the actual first day of the longest and warmest days of the year. While I do appreciate a nice long evening, summer is one of my least favorite times of the year. It’s hot, there’s no basketball, and cinnamon is so far on the back burner from the holiday’s I start to have withdrawals. That being said, it’s still a marvelous time to be alive, especially because graham crackers are everywhere, including in Dreyer’s Limited Edition S’mores, which combines toasted marshmallow and chocolate light ice creams swirled together with a graham cracker ribbon, mini marshmallows, and chocolaty chips.

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REVIEW: Coolhaus’ Milkshake & Fries

Hello, Mr. Sweet & Salty checking in. Usually I can look at a list of ingredients on a product and figure out the intended profile for myself. Habanero chips are gonna be spicy. Blue cheese flavored pretzels are gonna be funky. Chocolate covered Oreo’s are gonna be sweet. Yet sometimes, even when we know what we’re getting into, a bag of chips will push the narrative and boldy state SPICY! As common as that may be with with savory snacks, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it with ice cream. That all changed with one of the newest flavors from Coohaus, which proudly proclaims, quite literally in a speech bubble, that this pint is in fact “sweet & salty!” Milkshake & Fries combines salted Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream with shoestring french fries and milk chocolate malt balls.

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REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Special Stash It’s…Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s have once again opened their coveted Special Stash to unleash a rare and limited edition pint only available at scoop shops and online. Much like the first release, Marshmallow Moon, which was one of the alternate ideas for Jimmy Fallon’s signature flavor, It’s…Ice Cream is one of the combinations originally considered for the now infamous and hugely popular Phish Food. Unlike its battle-winning older sibling, which swirls together caramel and marshmallow in the murky depths of double chocolate, this flavor gets a little more of a balanced lift from caramel malt ice cream with almond toffee pieces, fudge fish and a caramel swirl.

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This pint is a lot like an epic medley in the middle of a four hour Phish concert – a bunch of elements I’ve already had and enjoyed in separate instances all fusing together to create a new unique experience. We’ve got the base from Keep Caramel and Cookie On, the fish and caramel swirl from Phish Food, and some almond toffee that reminds me a lot of the terrific brittle in the Non-Dairy Caramel Almond Brittle.

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I feel pretty much the same about the base here as I did in Keep Caramel, which has a solid malty funkiness and subdued sweetness compared to a lot of other caramel bases. Ben & Jerry’s don’t make the best caramel ice cream’s but they tend to surround them with things that make them work well. Cinnamon Buns is a prime example of an ice cream that’s just okay at its core but terrific taken as a whole. My favorite B&J’s caramel base is the coffee caramel in One Sweet World, and while this base isn’t as exciting, I’m getting Phish-induced flashbacks to one of my favorite Limited Batches of the last few years, and that’s a very good thing.

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The ample pools of sweet syrupy caramel all throughout the pint help elevate the base and bring out the malty funk even more, achieving a great balance of overall sweetness. There are moments throughout digging that a glob of caramel takes up my entire spoon, and I will never tire of that simple pleasure. The chocolate fish continue my theory that B&J’s chocolate is so much better in shapes than in chunks and I love their fudgey density and firm snap. Plus, it’s a helluva lot of fun popping open a pint that looks like there are fish swimming in a sea of caramel-colored delight.

The real game changer in this pint are the wonderful pieces of almond toffee, which chomp and crunch with a bold buttery flavor and sparks of salt that help temper the caramel for that lovely tandem of sweet and salty I simply can’t get enough of. The pieces are different than the chocolate covered variety in Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch (formerly Heath) and really provide a great nutty character that brings the depth and necessary variety to bites that really set the flavor apart.

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With both of the first two entries into the elusive Special Stash collection being rejects of already existing flavors, I’m pretty intrigued to see where this line will go next. While I found Jimmy Fallon’s Marshmallow Moon to be a pretty inferior option to the chosen Tonight Dough, when it comes to this versus Phish Food it’s a much tougher debate. There’s no doubt that this one is more unique and satisfies my sweet and salty craving’s, but there’s nothing quite like diving into that dark swirly abyss of the classic Phish Food. Although it’s not as easy to get as some of the great core flavors, this one is worth the extra trip or online order, and I’d recommend grabbing an extra one to toss in your stash for a repeat scoop.

Rating: 8.5/10

Found at: Ben & Jerry’s ($6.25)

REVIEW: Little Debbie Turtle Brownies

Sometimes even the trashiest of folks have to don their finest for a special outing, and that day has come for junk food Queen Little Debbie. Popping off the shelf in a notably thicker and shinier box garnished with the title “Specialty Recipe” tag, there’s a new batch of cellophane treats aimed to set the bar even higher for quick fix cakes. Little Debbie’s Turtle Brownies combine a pan-baked cake brownie topped with salty-smooth, golden brown caramel, crunchy roasted peanuts and a drizzle of fudge coating.

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REVIEW: Quest Tortilla Style Protein Chips (Nacho Cheese and Ranch)

I’ve covered a lotta funny protein things on this website. Bars, spreads, cookie dough’s, cookie’s, pancake mixes, microwavable muffins – you name it, I’ve probably had it. Protein-infused chips, however, as many times as I’ve enjoyed them, have never found their way onto the Skillet. Quest’s original line of Protein Chips emulated the potato variety and come in a number of flavors from BBQ to Sour Cream and Cheddar to Salt & Vinegar, and I actually quite enjoy them all. I don’t love any of them but none of them are offensive and they make for a unique crunchy way to get a bit of protein in at lunch or snack time. With all that being said, I’m way more of a corn chip guy than a potato chip guy, and brand new for 2018 Quest have taken on one of the biggest snack dawgs in the yard with Tortilla Style Protein Chips.

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REVIEW: Vice Cream’s L’Orange A Trois

Outside of the beloved Creamsicle, citrus doesn’t get a whole lotta love in the dairy game. Sure, there are lemon sorbet’s for days, but that combination of sweet sweet dairy and acidic punch is far less common than it should be. None of the big players in the game like Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dazs ever toy with that pairing, and it’s kind of a shame. Even more uncommon is the magical combination of chocolate and citrus, which seems to be reserved for the holiday’s and those weird little jelly sticks you can buy at Trader Joe’s and other craft candy stores. It’s a combo that really works, pairing bitter and sweet and tart in a way that tickles every part of my tongue. When I came across a flavor from Vice that combines all of these elements into one during the peak of spring I couldn’t help but get pumped. L’Orange A Trois combines vanilla ice cream with an orange ripple and dark, milk, and white chocolate chunks.

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REVIEW: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Full disclosure – I’ve never had it.

I’ve had a standard cream based Peanut Butter pie, which was delicious. And a Reese’s-inspired cheesecake, which was, of course, amazing; but that’s kind of it for me and pie-shaped creations utilizing one of the world’s finest ingredients. Based on a little bit of internet research it looks like Choc PB Pie is a nice creamy peanut butter custard on a graham cracker crust with a thinner layer of chocolate ganache on top, and now I feel like I’ve been really missing out. Thank goodness the junk food overlords at Nabisco are here to wake me the eff up with a brand new apparently non-limited edition Oreo that combines a graham flavored wafer with a peanut butter and chocolate flavored creme.

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