Buyin’ Bonanza at Bed Bath and Beyond

For me, Bed Bath and Beyond has always merely been a punchline. Let’s face it, if you’re a dude, whenever you’re significant other even utters the name of the store, you probably reflexively reply aloud or to yourself internally, “I don’t know if we’ll have time.” Will Ferrell’s legendary line in Old School pretty much summed up my thoughts on Triple B. I had no reason being there, yet, every damn time I’ve been there I saw about 50 different items that I thought I desperately needed to own. In this post, I’ll bring you along with me as I explain how I dropped some hard earned cash on that exact kind of nonsense over the weekend.

First, some luscious back story. Last year, I bought myself the Starbucks Verismo. Now, I could’ve been normal and went with the flow and just bought a Keurig coffee maker like everyone in America seems to own and love, but of course not! This time I wasn’t just being an oddball, I felt like “why the hell wouldn’t I want the name recognition of Starbucks emblazoned on my coffee maker?” If they lent this machine their seal of approval, there’s no reason why this coffee shouldn’t taste like it came directly from the tap of Starbucks machine at one of the bazillion locations throughout the country. So that left me with the added task of buying the specific pods for the Verismo. Here was the dilemma: Nobody carries these silly ass things. Triple B to the rescue.

On a lark, soon after I bought the Verismo, I stopped at Triple B to see if they carried the pods. Sure as shit, they carried every single variety. Not only was I able to drive a half a mile away to get coffee, but I was also able to use the coupons they send me all the time. Things were looking up, but the savings backfired. Yes, I saved money on the coffee pods, but I still had to walk all the way to the back of the store which exposed my vulnerable purchasing senses.

In other words, I conned myself into buying a bunch of other crap.

Cruising around Bed, Bath, and Beyond is overwhelming. Some people probably walk into that place and feel they NEED every single item they see. I walk in and feel I need at least 30% of all of it. I usually can hold back from getting out of hand with the spending, but during this latest visit, I couldn’t help myself.

The location I went to was newly renovated and very enticing. Their market section reminded me of Trader Joe’s with all kinds of specialty foods, drinks, and sauces. Beverages are my weakness. I noticed they were now carrying single glass bottles of various sodas – some that I had only read about or heard about from friends. Different stores around the country stock different soft drinks, but here in Jersey, it’s the same typical crap. Coke, Pepsi, and your other familiar varieties.

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It was like walking through the Arkham Asylum of soft drinks. From left to right: Dublin’s Cherry Limeade, Bubble Up, Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water, Argo Mojitea, Cheerwine, and Moxie.

I figured I’d tell you about how my taste test of these beverages went down. First, we’ll see if these drinks live up to their near legendary status and after that I’ll tell you about a few non-liquid items I picked up.

Dublin’s Cherry Limeade –  Pleasing color. Decent taste overall, enjoyable, but the cherry and lime flavors weren’t prominent enough for me. I think the flavor may be a bit too mellow, needs a bigger kick of lime to tip the scales. Considering that Cherry is intended to be the dominant flavor it’s pretty weak in the cherry front as well. So, more cherry with a back end zing of lime. Too much to think about.

Bubble Up – Sadly, this one is pretty much indecipherable from 7-Up or Sprite, but this one it’s made with cane sugar. At the end of the day it’s another serviceable citrus soda.

Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water – Sounds odd at first, right? The label could be a little more appealing, but I suppose they aren’t marketing almond water to tweens. The best word to describe this drink is unexpectedly delightful. It’s refreshing, lightly sweetened, and has a mellow and smooth almond finish. If this wasn’t so damn expensive I could see myself buying it often. Since it’s really just flavored water, it doesn’t have the harshness that soda has or the syrupy mouthfeel that some other drinks seem to have. This is how you know it’s awesome: an actual ingredient is: a lot of LOVE.

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Argo Mojitea – I’ve tasted Argo’s line of iced teas previously, but this Mint-Lime Mojito flavor was brand new to me. Originally, I found other flavors at a local Walgreen’s and I enjoyed 1 out of 2. They tout their all natural ingredients which is definitely a good selling point for me. Sometimes I think a lot of people forget that food and drinks could still taste good even if they aren’t made from a bevy of chemicals and artificial flavors. The Mojito flavor was a total bust for me though. The citrus overpowers the mint. I always felt that two strong flavors like mint and lime shouldn’t really be battling with each other in the first place, but, a lot of people love it. Unfortunately, this is exactly what I imagine Iced Pine-Sol would taste like.

Cheerwine – The biggest WIN of this post. I’ve always heard great things about Cheerwine from guys like my friend Paxton Holley over at Cavalcade of Awesome, but I had no idea that it would wind up going right up there in the upper echelon of best sodas I’ve ever tasted (Dr. pepper, Fanta Kolita, and Boylan’s Creamy Red Birch Beer are my all time favorites). Cheerwine is a wild cherry flavored cola and it’s everything Cherry Coke wishes it could be. It’s smooth, fruity, and doesn’t give me that sting in my sinuses and nostrils that Coke sometimes gives me. Cheerwine is made with natural flavors and cane sugar. If you can find it at a store near you, I highly recommend picking it up.

Moxie – The “official soft drink of Maine” is one of those sodas that I’ve heard of since I was very young, but never tasted. Some family members used to reference Moxie as being a soda they drank back in the day. My mind running wild and the passing of time has built Moxie up to be the stuff of legend. I always imagined it to be some sort of whacked out Coca-Cola high on opium floating on a cloud, but it’s a cloud made of white and fluffy voluptuous marshmallows that sometimes stunt doubles for Elvira’s beelzeboobs. After finally sampling some Moxie, the flavor wasn’t quite so exciting.

I’ve discovered that Moxie is the one of the few sodas that you could deliberate on with soda snobs much like wine and beer snobs pour over the details of what’s swishing around in their mouths. After a few sips and really concentrating on the taste, I noticed a wide range of flavors. It’s probably the most complex tasting soda I’ve ever had. It’s interesting because its ingredient, gentian root, gives it a bitter flavor, while its other flavors are vague as it finishes with a sort of spicy kick. I’m not looking for my soda to be some outrageous Mountain Dew flavor, but Moxie didn’t quite reach the pinnacle that I thought it would for me.

I also picked up a few snacks that fall into the dessert category.

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Continuing my tradition of reviewing Marshmallow filled things, I bought a Valentine’s Day themed dark chocolate Peep heart with raspberry marshmallow filling. The prevalent raspberry flavor blended well with the dark chocolate, but, unfortunately, the marshmallow wasn’t as soft and moist as it seemed to be with the mint version that I reviewed here. The firmness didn’t bother me, it was just a tiny bit more chewy. In the end, I felt it was too damn sweet and the sweetness overpowered the actual flavors. The color of the marshmallow filling was the best part.

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Dr. Pepper “Candy Twists” a.k.a what I like t o call Dr. Pepper flavored Twizzlers. Not made by Twizzlers, but that’s the most comparable candy. As I ripped the bag open I noticed they smelled just like Dr. Pepper, which was encouraging. After I devoured a few, I noticed that the flavor was ridiculously good and extremely accurate to the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper, but holy shit they were chewy. It was like trying to chew up a delicious garden hose that was irrigating Willy Wonka’s soft drink cascade. They’re one level tougher to chew than your typical Twizzler, but that didn’t stop me from eating the entire bag though. Now I feel gross.

Sheila G’s Mint Chocolate Brownie Brittle – These “cookies” were excellent. Although I’m not a fan of really crunchy things for dessert, these didn’t break my teeth that much. Typically, if I were to have a cookie, I prefer a soft one, and if it’s not soft, I submerge it in milk forever until becomes a complete mess. Couldn’t do that with these though. Their crunch was at near-Biscotti levels. The mint chocolate chip flavor was superb. Be careful though – it’s very easy to eat the entire bag of these.

I feel like the fattest fuck right now. 

Great Geek Gorge #9: Pumpkin Everything

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 photo starbuckspumpkin01_zps432eec38.jpgOn Twitter a lot of my friends have been tweeting photos of stuff they are seeing in stores like Fall themed snack cakes and Monster cereals. Every year all I remember is saying to myself “Halloween, already? It’s still summertime!” Usually stores are overzealous and jump the gun by a few weeks. I’ve been to every damn grocery store around here and haven’t seen much of anything reflecting Halloween yet, aside from candy. At the time of this post, none of my local stores have Monster cereals on the shelves, while it seems like mostly everyone I know in other parts of the country has already been bragging about having multiple boxes of them for at least a week. Maybe we are jumping the gun? Ah, f*ck no. It’s never too early to start celebrating Halloween or the Fall season in general. It’s the best time of the year. Christmas is great and all, but it’s too damn cold up here in Jerz. The Halloween season is perfect and I’m hoping we get it’s weather and it’s goods sooner than later.

If you follow me on Instagram you know what I had this weekend. I waited all year for it and damn did it taste good! It was my first sip of pumpkin coffee from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts this season. I indulged in both over the weekend. The Starbucks Pumpkin Latte is so far ahead of Dunkin Donuts’ Pumpkin coffee in terms of flavor. Starbucks pumpkin tastes like pumpkin pie and I don’t know if they’re actually murdering pumpkins out back to make this stuff or what, but it tastes awesome. I still feel a bit too anxious for fall to arrive though. The gross heat, humidity, and sick thunderstorms we’ve had here in Jersey this weekend makes Fall feel like it’s so far away.

I’ll be showing you a couple of things I did manage to find in a moment, but first, something I DIDN’T buy. Usually I buy two of everything regardless of knowing if it’s good or not. That’s a complete mistake because more than half the time, it usually sucks. I’m an easy target for gimmicky shit and limited edition crap, but this time I didn’t let myself get suckered.

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Take pumpkin spice M&Ms for example. It’s not like I don’t enjoy M&M’s because, what’s not to like? They’re little pellets of chocolate covered in a colorful candy shell. They come alive as wide-eyed candy mascots on TV too. All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t ordinarily go out to purchase a bag of M&Ms. On a rare occasion I might get a craving for a fun sized pack of peanut M&Ms at a vending machine, but I’ve been burned many times on the full sized gimmick bags too many times.

Any time a new variety comes out like Peanut Butter or Coconut M&Ms, I’m usually disappointed. I wasn’t going to be seduced by a cute orange M&M dressed up like a pumpkin on the front of the bag leering at me in Target. As I picked up a bag of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms excitedly, I was overcome by dejavu, and then I threw them back on the shelf, and walked away proudly. Not before taking a picture of course. I’m sure they’re delicious, but I’ll never know because they don’t sell packs of just 3 M&Ms just for tasting purposes.

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My best purchase so far isn’t what you’d think. When it comes to beer I don’t have expensive taste. I always prefer the middle of the road beers. I don’t enjoy ales or trendy microbrews. That said, I’ve spent the last few fall seasons buying literally cases of beer that went to waste because I wound up hating it. This year I was on an A-Team style mission. I visited all of my local liquor stores to find a pumpkin beer that I would enjoy the taste of and would bring to mind the flavors of the season. I realize that a lot of the seasonal pumpkin beers really work for many of you, they just aren’t for me. Drinking an ale makes me feel like I’m drinking bitter muddy water.

Since my taste preference is for the basic type of beer, I looked for a pumpkin lager, not an ale or IPA anything else that might exist. During a trip to the local Joe Canal’s, I found a 6-pack of Lakefront Pumpkin Lager and I was really excited. I brought it home and chilled it for a while. Later I cracked one open and was immediately smitten with the taste. It was exactly the pumpkin beer I was looking for, but where has it been all my life?

A little further investigation lead me to find out via the Lakefront Brewing website that it’s the ONLY pumpkin lager brewed in the WORLD. How the hell is this possible? If the highest selling beers in the country are the most basic beers that exist, why wouldn’t the pumpkin beers get a wide release in that same style? Who cares, I finally found what I was looking for, but what were the chances? If I never found this I would’ve kept looking for one seasonal style of beer that is nearly non-existent.

Miss Sexy Armpit and I each enjoyed one last night. The lager is brewed with pumpkin and spices and it’s definitely apparent. The consistency is smooth, and almost creamy for a lager. There’s not much effervescence and the head is minimal, but the aftertaste is amazing. It left a resounding pumpkin pie and spice flavor in my mouth. It’s one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve ever had. Snotty beer connoisseurs would scoff at this. Keep in mind that I am used to drinking typical lagers and pilsners, so if you are like me, then you’ll LOVE this. Now, onward!

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Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts wasted NO time hitting store shelves. In fact, they were my first purchase for the Halloween season several weeks ago along with candy corn and mellocreme pumpkins. To me, Pop-Tarts are rarely bad unless they are some zany variety like Wildlicious Wild Berry, and yes that’s actually a real flavor. These have a decent pumpkin flavor and they come through to fill the void in your breakfast portion of your fall lineup. I’ve yet to try them toasted, but I imagine they would be even better. Some people think toasting a Pop-Tart is grounds for the death penalty, but not me. I reserve toasting for special occasions though, and by special occasions I mean when I’m not being too lazy to get the toaster out.

Next up, we have the Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte. Tazo is now a division of Starbucks and this one of their pre-made mix cartons that you can serve either hot or cold. I prefer to have it cold, which is not only tastier to me, but also easier to prepare. Just pour equal parts milk and the latte mix over ice and whammo – you have a cold Pumpkin Spice Latte. Definitely a nice addition to the barrage of pumpkin stuff hitting stores.

Out of all this stuff I’d easily say the Lakefront Pumpkin Lager was my favorite purchase and I recommend it to you. Thanks for stopping by and come back to The Sexy Armpit soon for more of the Halloween countdown festivities!

Jersey Devil Chocolates

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Dark Chocolate is said to produce a euphoric sensation in your brain. I’ve eaten plenty of it and it hasn’t been known to set my mouth on fire. Jersey Devil Chocolates can do both. The local company based in Madison, NJ offer their own devilish spin on the classic chocolate bar.

Plain old Hershey chocolate bars are classic, but it seems there’s a trend for spicy chocolate these days. Personally I’m not sure if I’d dig a hot pepper flavor in my candy bar, but I’m sure the legions of people who are into that type of thing know what they are talking about. The company describes their 54% cocoa dark chocolate bar as a “hot and spicy chocolate taste experience.” The bar contains chipotle flavor which adds heat and then dried cranberries provide the tartness.

This ties back to Jersey because we are known for our cranberries, especially the ones that come from the Pine Barrens. In fact, some tales of the Jersey Devil were told to keep people out of the Pine Barrens all together. The Barrens are a protected forest area in South Jersey with loads of natural resources, pure water, cranberry bogs, and rare species of animals and bugs living within it.

At their official site, Jersey Devil Chocolates posted a picture of their 14 year old son’s sketch of his idea of what their logo should look like and they refined it and used it for their official company logo! If you are interested in trying one of these chocolate bars, the company makes their chocolate available via their website for purchase of single bars, wholesale, and for fund raising.

LIKE them on Facebook!

Giants, Devils, and Sexy Armpit Special Edition M&M’s

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Here’s the official Sexy Armpit mascot of M&M candy! I made this little guy at the M&Ms website where you can create your own character that can be put onto t-shirts and other swag. I wouldn’t normally go to M&M’s website, but not too long ago I walking down the Atlantic City boardwalk and took my typical stroll through the It’s Sugar candy store which prompted me to visit the M&M website. They have a dizzying array of various candy products as well as a humongous replica of the Jersey landmark, Lucy The Elephant. I definitely recommend paying them a visit next time you are in Atlantic City.

What I found really cool in the store was their color separated assortments of M&M’s. They even had M&M’s blended by colors that represent local sports teams. Below are two pictures I snapped and cut together to show off their New York Giants and New Jersey Devils M&M assortment. I’m sure if I go back I can make a special Sexy Armpit edition, but I’d prefer to wait until I can get the the limited dark chocolate edition!

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Etymology of The Chipwich

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Pictured on the right is LaMotta next to a Chipwich Stand

It’s sad to hear of the recent death of Richard LaMotta, inventor of The Chipwich. His unique approach to selling the frozen treat on a cart in New York City in 1982 took the simple premise of the traditional hot dog stand to another level. The Chipwiches became such hot sellers that his 2 Chipwich plants, one in Queens, NY, and one in Lodi, NJ were churning out 200,000 a day! Prior to its boom in popularity and LaMotta’s truly passionate marketing of his new concept, he lacked a name for it.

While LaMotta was half owner of The Sweet Tooth ice cream parlor in Englewood, NJ, he held a contest to come up with a name for the ice cream sandwich. For Anne Dermansky, a mother from the surrounding area, Chipwich was the first idea to pop in her head. She quickly wrote it down, credited her daughter, and submitted it. Not only did Dermansky’s daughter Julie win the contest, but she was gifted a one year supply of Chipwiches, and a $10,000 Scholarship which she used to help pay her tuition to Tulane University. According to an article on North Jersey.com, Dermanksy explained that LaMotta never missed a scholarship payment to Julie and they received them like clockwork, even when the company experienced financial hardship.

Also check out The official Chipwich Site, Just My Show’s Post about The Chipwich,
as well as an Article from NY Times and North Jersey.com

It’s a Marshmallow World in my Kitchen!

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I had myself a Christmas candy bonanza. As if I don’t eat enough junk during the holidays, there was still more to be consumed and reviewed. Unlike Easter, Christmas isn’t known for it’s superb candy as much as it is cookies, but there are a few items worth inhaling. Read on as I make a marshmallow world of my kitchen.

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I kicked off this holiday taste test with the Russell Stover’s Maple Cream Santa since it was the most enticing to me. I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually had this flavor before, but after one bite I was immediately seduced by it’s heavenly consistency and luscious flavor. If you dig maple flavor anything, then mark my words, you will fall in love with this. If you missed out on Russell Stover Christmas candy, then make sure get one of these suckers next year.

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At first glance, this basic run of the mill Russell Stover marshmallow Santa Claus might seem like “schwag,” (underworld marshmallow slang term for low grade marshamallow) but as always it was completely satisfying. The marshamallow center was moist and more like a whipped marshmallow, not that odd styrofoam type marshmallow like in mallomars or moon pies. This was like eating chocoate with fluff in the center. What’s most apparent is that this basic version is the only one that features an actual mold of Santa Claus, and in comparison to the other pear shaped shit nuggets, this one is actually fairly accurate.

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The strawberry cream version was next on the agenda. If you’re a fan of strawberry flavor then this will exceed your expectations. The pink filling is moist and the strawberry flavor doesn’t taste too artificial, but it’s still very sweet of course. Russell Stover seems to have the Christmas candy title all locked up. I’m looking also forward to trying these in dark chocolate, which is my preference, as well as their varieties of mint chocolates.

Reindeer Marshmallow
apparently it IS all pink on the inside

In a fierce contrast to the aforementioned Russell Stovers chocolates, Melster’s Cherry Cordial marshmallow reindeer was an gigantic fail. I’ve read a few other reviews of Melster marshmallow candy and they haven’t been favorable either. What are you trying to pull here Melster? This is an outrage. The mold is terrible, it looks like a siamese cat instead of a reindeer! The cherry flavor goes overboard on sweetness, and the marshmallow is way too fluffy and lacking the creaminess of Russell Stovers. You better step up your game Melster or the elves will stage an intervention!

Yoo-hoo vs. Nesquik (Vote for Your Favorite at the End of the Post)

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What comes to mind when you hear the word Yoo-hoo? All I hear is Janosz Poha interrupting poor Oscar’s sleepy time when he dropped by Dana Barret’s apartment unexpectedly. “YOO-HOO!” What a jerkoff. Only if he came bearing gifts, such as a six pack of cold delicious Yoo-hoo in glass bottles then he’d be forgiven.

Recently a few coworkers and I got into a heated debate as to which chocolate beverage is better, Nesquik or Yoo-hoo. If you’re one of the folks out there who thinks “milk was a bad choice,” then you may not enjoy chocolate milk to begin with. In that case you may take a pro-Yoo-hoo stance since it’s not technically full fledged chocolate milk, but “drink.” During my days of lunchboxes and brown paper bagged lunches, a Yoo-hoo drink box was always there to bring my mouth some chocolatey happiness. The one characteristic of Yoo-hoo that I’ve always enjoyed over typical chocolate milk is that it never felt like it weighed me down, it wasn’t thick and creamy like drinking a can of paint. Yoo-hoo’s lighter consistency helped broaden its drinkability to more situations than your average chocolate milk.

Yoo-hoo’s origin goes way back to the 1920’s when Natale Olivieri and his family sold his Tru-Fruit beverages out of their grocery store in New Jersey. Soon, Olivieri came up with a method of making chocolate flavored drinks that never went bad thanks to a special bottling process that eliminated spoilage. So if you have old Yoo-hoo in your pantry, if it’s sealed it will never go bad! Boosting it’s stock even more, Yoo-hoo sticks to its Jersey roots as it operates a plant in Carlstadt, NJ.

Here’s one of my favorite Yoo-hoo commercials from the ’80s. It was pretty cheesy then, but now it’s classic.

As far as nutrition goes, Yoo-hoo offers more vitamins and minerals than Nesquik. In that contest, Yoo-hoo wins 7-5. Nesquik contains saturated fat and cholesterol while Yoohoo has ZERO in those categories. For the health conscious, Yoo-hoo is the better choice. Like Nesquik, Yoo-hoo offers a variety of flavors in addition to chocolate, but they are more of a challenge to find considering the hunt you need to embark on to find plain, original Yoo-hoo.

Baseball fans may jump on the Yoo-hoo bandwagon since legends Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra have both hawked the drink. Simpsons loyalists know what Yoo-hoo is all about since Yoo-hoo promoted a sweepstakes in 2003 featuring The Simpsons, one of America’s longest running primetime shows.

For those who do consider artery clogging, mucilaginous milk to be refreshing, well there was always Nesquik or as I remember it…Quik. Can you even remember a time when Nestle wasn’t so egomaniacal that they didn’t feel the need to muscle their companies name into one of their products? It wasn’t until 1999 that Nestle Quik became Nesquik in the U.S and several other countries. Personally, I was fine with calling it Nestle’s Quik, I think it sounded better. Nesquik offers strawberry and vanilla varieties, and it’s still available in the classic powder mix.

Nowadays, Nesquik is widely associated with its yellow plastic bottles found in the refrigerated sections of 7-11’s and Quick Chek’s. Although, if you grew up in the ’70s or ’80s then you’re probably more familiar with mixing Quik powder into a glass of milk. Dane Cook’s bit about Nestle Quik’s “powdery magma” exploding in his face, and being all “hopped up on the Q” really sums up its appeal to children. My mom was always apprehensive to allow me to mix up some Quik, because something in her head told her it would be a disastrous event. She was usually right.

Points go to Nesquik for having a fairly cool bunny mascot. In a ridiculous move, the Quik bunny used to wear a “Q” on his shirt now wears an “N” to stand for Nesquik. The shit is still Quik!!! The f–king bunny needs a Q! The Nesquik Bunny also appears on the front of the Nesquik Cereal box which is something else Yoo-hoo doesn’t offer consumers. Nesquik cereal ain’t too shabby. Even if it’s similar to Cocoa Puffs, it’s got smaller balls, cocoa balls that is. Smaller balls aren’t the only indication that Nesquik cereal is basically a Cocoa Puffs knockoff, Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird is 50,000 times more insane that the non-threatening Quik Bunny. Talk about hopped up on the Q!

If you’re still undecided as to who should win this grudge match, take a further look at some Yoo-hoo and Nesquik related links:

OK so, I’ll admit that Yoo-hoo is lacking in the cool mascot department, especially one who happens to be really good at Atari and goes on adventures with Superman. Yoo-hoo has a lot of catching up to do in that category. May I suggest Dr. Janosz Poha?

Yoo-hoo’s official page

Creative Loafing’s blog The Daily Loaf has a fine post on how to make “The Hooville Martini,” a delicious sounding alcoholic concoction that incorporates Yoo-hoo.

Shawn Robare’s modern masterpiece at Branded in the ’80s: his discovery of what’s written on the underside of Yoo-hoo’s cardboard packing, its eventual conspiracy theory and the comic book it inspired.

Retro Planet’s Character of the week all about the Nestle Quik Bunny

5 Reasons Yoo-hoo Rocks My Socks, by Ken Tuccio

The Nesquik Bunny’s Bobblehead and plush doll

Nesquik’s official page

One of Quik’s best commercials, the bunny’s all strung out:


Upstate Farms Intense Mint Chip and Orange Scream Milk

I don’t scream for ice cream, I sort of give a half-assed whimper. Considering all the junk food and candy that I talk about here at the Armpit, I’m actually not a big fan dessert or candy. If I have to choose a dessert, I enjoy simple stuff like milk and cookies. Not surprisingly, chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorites, and if they’re homemade I like them even more. But when you’re dealing with a strange guy like me, it can never be that easy. Milk and cookies aren’t much work to whip up, but not in my case. I like my chocolate chip cookies homemade, and WITHOUT the chocolate chips! To me they just interfere with my favorite part of the cookie.

Amongst my profusion of hangups, quirks, and pet peeves, I also loathe the chips of chocolate in Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The funny part is, I’m not a chocolate hater, it’s just that the chips ultimately get in the way of my enjoyment of the dessert. The chips in mint chocolate chip ice cream always get stuck in my teeth and it’s super annoying. I’d like to enjoy the chocolate but I can’t because it makes a pit stop in my molars and doesn’t come out until I brush my teeth. If I could just get the pastel green mint ice cream sans the chocolate chips, I’d be a pig in shit. The only way I could take it to the next level is if I had mint (remember: no chocolate chips) in “soft ice cream” form rather than “hard.” 
When I was a kid I remember telling my sister that I liked letting my ice cream turn into “soup.” Once my ice cream liquefied I would just drink it right out of the bowl. Drinkable ice cream was my favorite, and still is. I even like to let my ICEE’s and Slurpee’s melt so I could get the prime flavor of the syrup without the minuscule ice pellets getting in the way and freezing my brain. To sum up what you’ve just read: I like my Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream melted and without chocolate chips in it.

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On my weekly trip to Wegman’s, I was waiting in line to check out but got distracted by a plastic bottle of green liquid in a refrigerated section near the exit. Wegman’s has an extra dairy section at the front of the store for convenience, in case you don’t feel like running all the way to the back of the store just to grab a gallon of milk. I grabbed the “Intense” Mint Chip flavor by Upstate Farms immediately as if I was the only person who knew this treasure was on the shelf! 

Aside from name dropping their own brand name about 62 times, (Intense!) the label on the back of the bottle describes the drink as “…a creamy and indulgent drink…” Then the label goes on to say “This is the drink of choice for the mint chip ice cream lover on the go.” It’s fairly awesome that they’re actually marketing a drink to a group of people known as “mint chip ice cream lovers.” I never realized I was part of that demographic, but I like it! The Intense Mint Chip contains the typical benefits of milk such as vitamins and protein, but unfortunately has 35 MG’s of cholesterol in case you’d rather not have a heart attack.

Intense Mint Chip is the type of drink you want to sip on a crisp moonlit night while you’re rolling down the highway as the street lights are streaking past you like your in light speed and the stereo is blasting Laura Branigan’s “Self Control.” It doesn’t matter that you’re sipping milk…you still feel really cool. Trust me.

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Considering how exalted the Mint Chip flavor is, the Orange Scream can’t come close to its greatness. Think of the Intense Orange Scream as the sub par sequel, or the redheaded stepchild of the Intense milk family. Upstate Farms falls short with their Orange Scream, which is yet another failed attempt at creating the classic orange cream flavor. (Sunkist also failed recently with their miserable orange cream float.) One of the major strikes against Orange Scream is that it substitutes what’s supposed to be a nondescript “cream” flavor for a strong vanilla flavor. The cream shouldn’t necessarily be defined as “vanilla” because then it has the chance to overpower the orange flavor. The vanilla flavor may be forgiven if it isn’t a true “vanilla bean” flavor since a regular “no frills” vanilla would work better. There’s an exact balance of orange and cream flavor that needs to be perfected to achieve orange cream paradise. On a positive note, unlike the mint chip, the orange scream is creamy yet still low fat. Its label is pretty exciting or should I say…INTENSE! Even though I didn’t enjoy their Orange Scream formula, I have to hand it to Upstate Farms just for their sheer variety of offerings such as Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, and Mocha Java. Now all us Star Wars fans need is an “Intense Blue: A New Hope Special Edition Milk.” I hear it’s going to be high in midichlorians. Come on, where’s the freakin marketing people now? Can I get some kickbacks for that?

Reese’s Special Edition Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bat

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This dark chocolate Reese’s was a leftover from July when cereal, snacks, and candy were proudly and temporarily branded with BATMAN. All Bat-fans snatched up their preferred bat-snacks at grocery store. I grabbed some fruit snacks and fruit roll ups among other stuff. Although, one item I never got a chance to write about during the Dark Knight Countdown, was the Special Edition Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bat. During July, every blogger who’s worth reading was posting about Dark Knight related candy and other bat-junk. I didn’t feel too motivated to bring it up, but on Halloween kids will be dragging home 400+ lb bags of candy so it’s definitely appropriate. Hopefully they won’t be ripping into 4 month old candy like I’m about to do!

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This Reese’s offering let me down. It’s touted as being shaped like a bat, but it’s a piss poor bat if you ask me. I’m sure they’re gunning for a Star Wars “special edition” Reese’s because they’ll already have the mold for the TIE fighter. I shouldn’t complain because I’m happy with anything Batman related. Except that insane gummy bat that was released! Who the hell wants to eat an anatomically correct gummy bat?

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If there was an election between milk choclate and dark chocolate, I’d be a staunch dark chocolate supporter. With that said, I was surprised at how indifferent I felt after taking my first bite of this “Special Edition” Reese’s bat. The “dark” chocolate tasted merely like milk chocolate infused with a dark chocolate flavoring. When one part of the Reese’s doesn’t taste exactly like the original reeses peanut butter cup (full size…not the bite size ones, they suck) then the entire taste of it will be a little off. I had a similar complaint back when I tried the Reese’s Elvis peanut butter cups. The banana outer shell did not jive well with the cup’s filling. The Reese’s bat is an awesome idea that deserves high marks, but the outer shell lacked a true dark chocolate flavor.

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There’s still a load of Bat candy on the shelves, but I’m glad I put this in my kitchen cabinet because the Reese’s Dark Chocolate Bat seems to have done a disappearing act. If I was a kid trick or treating this year, any candy with Batman on the wrapper would be bumped up to my “best candy” pile.

Pumpkin Orgasm, I’m Not Faking It!

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Eating this Russell Stover milk chocolate orange marshmallow pumpkin was a strange moment in my life.

A close friend of mine codename: Ace Johnson recently posted a comment on my MySpace page that said “Jay loves pumpkin orgasms in his mouth.” I can’t deny it. I’m in a marshmallow pumpkin state of mind. This marshmallow happens to have used spray on tan. So what?

Occasionally a certain food or drink does something in your mouth that’s unexpected. Unless you try new food and beverages every day, it’s nearly impossible to be surprised by foods or feel like your presence has been altered by them in some way. A cheeseburger tastes like a cheesburger every time you enjoy one. Each time you eat a burger you know what to expect unless it’s on a different type of roll, has fruit roll-ups on it instead of lettuce, or it’s slathered in some special sauce that you have never tasted. The experience is usually pretty similar to the previous.

If you can say that your mouth has engaged in a sexual experience with a marshmallow pumpkin on more than one occasion, then that’s definitely something you’d want to Twitter.

I’m sure you hear about a lot of new products hitting the shelves. There’s new sodas that have lime infusions, or vanilla flavoring. There’s even new potato chips that taste like baby back ribs, while others have guacamole flavoring. In my time on earth I don’t recall ever hearing about a chocolate covered pumpkin that featured orange flavored marshmallow filling. Someone on LSD must’ve thought this combo up. It makes sense though…a pumpkin is orange, hence the marshmallow inside the choclate pumpkin should taste…ORANGEY! I found my previous interaction with a chocolate marshmallow pumpkin to be quite enjoyable regardless of the fact that the actual pumpkin looked more like a shit dumpling than a pumpkin. Rest assured, Russell Stover has presented a more accurate choco-pumpkin than the non-orange Hershey’s counterpart. They should be proud!

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I sliced into the well formed choco-pumpkin with a semi sharp knife, as not to bruise the dainty treat. BEHOLD! Inside lies the most ooey-gooey bright orange marshmallow filling EVER!

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It was time to do what I always do when I come in close contact with a chocolate pumpkin that has orange marshmallow filling, why that would be lick it up and down to make sure I can capture the flavor properly…of course!

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I can’t believe what you’re thinking right now, you sick fuck!
Doesn’t it just SCREAM: EAT ME, BITCH!

I follow that up with a circular motion and then I do some fancy moves that Gene Simmons taught me. The pumpkin was so into it. I said to my little orange pumpkin “I know you like that you’re a little nasty choco pumpkin aren’t you? Naturally, it was delighted and begged and pleaded for me to insert itself further into my mouth.

Sinking my teeth into the soft, wet, mushy, orange center was a delight. Having the chocolate crumble into and mash together with the fluffy orangeshmallow while it was being chomped about felt like a flavor mushroom cloud exploding right inside my mouth.

Chocolate…
Pumpkin…
Wet…

orangeshmallow…

Oooohhhhh….

BOOM!
Explosion…

It was a strange moment in my life.

And I didn’t fake it.