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Cracker Jack Popcorn – Butter Toffee

Posted in Chips, Confectionaries

The other night at Walmart, wandering up and down the aisles looking for new things to add to the junk food stash, I figured that it would be some what of a bust, same ole same ole everywhere I looked. I honestly feel like everyone releases their new foods all at the same time, and then its completely stagnant. Defeated, but still managing to have almost an entire shopping carts worth of food, we made our way up to the check lanes to head home. It wasn’t until I was loading all of my wares onto the belt that I spotted this Cracker Jack Popcorn out of the corner of my eye hanging off an endcap. I’ve seen the Cracker Jack’d stuff floating around at various stores, and I have debated trying it, but there was just something about this that was calling me.

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It was only a buck or so, so I figured if it was a complete bust that I wouldn’t be out very much. I honestly think what really drew me in was the boasting on the outside of the bag of a retro prize inside. Now I don’t know if you have had cracker jacks in the last few years but the prizes are totally made of suck these days. Who wants a history lesson from some weird little paper that you can fold to make a presidents face? I want a whistle, or a car, or something awesome inside of the bag, not a snippit from a text book. Heck, I’d even pay MORE money if I knew that the treasure I was getting inside was cooler than what I’ve received in the last few years. My guess is that they moved away from the toys and trinkets is because people probably whined and said that it was too easy for a kid to accidentally swallow the prize and choke. Well you know what? Watch your kids. The end. Alright, became a bitter bear there for a second, back to the food.

I don’t eat Cracker Jacks very often, mostly because popcorn and I don’t really share the same feelings towards each other and the thought of getting popcorn husks stuck in my teeth is really enough to put me off from eating the snack all together. It never fails that despite brushing and flossing that one lone husk will turn up months down the line and make you question your hygiene habits.

My favorite part about Cracker Jacks is the thick coating on the outside. That stuff is so sugary that it will usually make my teeth hurt, but man o man do I love it. I also enjoy the peanuts mixed into the sweet caramel coating which were absent in this mix. The bag of popcorn had considerably less sugary coating than its originator but it made for a great afternoon snack. The butteriness of the toffee balanced out the sweetness which made this easier to eat the entire bag without feeling like you just ingested a weeks worth of sugar in one sitting. The popcorn was light and airy and the toffee coating was a nice thin shellac on the outside. Unlike regular Cracker Jacks, there are no large clusters to worry about,so this is a perfect food to eat by the handful.

Now lets get down to the prize in this bad boy. The whole reason why I bought this dang bag – a throwback prize. Well, lets just throw this prize back into the trashcan. A STICKER. Guys, really? Items that were put into a Cracker Jack box were often considered limited and once they were gone they were gone, but a sticker? Really? The look of disappointment on my face was obvious and I’m back to being a bitter bear.

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Texture : 5/5 – Because of the thin coating of butter toffee, the popcorn still maintains its light and airy texture coupled with the crunch from the outside sweet shell.

Smell : 5/5 – The smell of this popcorn is crazy good. Sweetness mixed with butter, mmm mmm. I imagine its like one of those Glade seasonal candles that smell good for the brief second you’re holding it, but there is no way that your house could smell like that all the time. I kind of imagine it is like what Paula Deans house smells like.

Appearance : 4/5 – Because my brain has been trained that Cracker Jacks = dark caramel coating, I was surprised to see that the popcorn was not completely coated by the confectionery coating.

Taste : 3.5/5 – If you are looking to branch out from the norm, the butter toffee version might be for you. The popcorn is crunchy and fresh tasting, with just a light coating of sugary butter toffee on the outside, unlike the completely encased caramel version. The lack of peanuts kind of bums me out as it breaks up the flavor profile a little for me, but I can get over that I guess. The amount of sweetness is just enough that you can eat the entire bag in one sitting without feeling like you’re going to go into a diabetic coma. And I am still bitter about the prize.

May 7, 2013
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Goldfish Baked Graham Snacks – French Toast

Something new from the snack that smiles back, Goldfish crackers! French toast is one of my favorite morning treats, although I can’t recall the last time I had french toast. I never make it for myself, mostly because I never have eggs on hand and because of laziness, so it is usually something I will get when in the mood for breakfast at a diner. Goldfish o the other hand are something that I could probably eat on a daily basis if it weren’t for that whole cheese thing. A while back at a dinner gathering some friends and I were talking about Goldfish and one of my friends seemed truly confused as to why the massive box of Goldfish had a pour spout built in for any other reason but to pour them directly into your mouth. I can’t argue with him there.

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Now I don’t know if it is was just lack of basic reading comprehension or if I was overjoyed to see these sitting on the shelf at Bel Air, but I didn’t even notice that they were graham when I picked them up. Needless to say I was a bit taken aback when I poured some on my desk at work one morning as a snack and was not expecting them to be graham at all. What I was expecting them to be? Who knows. I nibbled on a few and was pleasantly surprised with how close these tasted to actual french toast. The graham was sweet and maple-y and they were dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Good thing I work in the backroom at my job or people might have started questioning why I was covered in sand, but I think by now most people have come to accept that I always look like a hot mess when unpacking boxes and a little cinnamon and sugar never hurt anyone.

The grahams seem slightly bigger than a normal Goldfish cracker, but I think this is attributed to the fact that they are similar shaped, not exact. I don’t think their tails would hold up as a graham cracker. Despite their appearance change, they are still smiling at you as you shovel them into your mouth.

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Texture : 5/5 – These have a great crunch to them, unlike the crunch you would find with a regular Goldfish cracker. But much like a graham cracker if you eat too much at once it will turn into a gooey mess in your mouth (this review is getting a little pornographic, jeez.) and they are slightly dry. The cinnamon and sugar will definitely find a new home between your teeth so be sure do to a little mirror check before heading into your next sales meeting.

Smell : 5/5 – When you open the bag you will be greeted by the familiar smell of french toast – yummy!

Appearance : 3/5 – I think the appearance of these little guys was kind of phoned in. I would have opted for a swirled fish ala Cinnamon Toast Crunch with the cinnamon and sugar coating on the outside, but that is why Pepperidge Farm has a product development department and I just write about it. Also I find that these could potentially make you look like you are enjoying some cat treats, which could be a nice ice breaker.

Taste : 4/5 – These were quite good. I think they would be even better sprinkled on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I would not however go as far as to say that they will send you into a feeding frenzy like their older brother the regular Cheddar Goldfish cracker. I swear its not salt on the outside of those things, its crack. Of the few sweet offerings that Pepperidge Farm has put out in the ways of Goldfish (chocolate, cupcake, smores, etc) I think these would have to be my favorite of the lot. The maple really brings this to whole new level, taking it from a cinnamon and sugar graham cracker to the true french toast taste. I would probably buy these again if I were looking for some fishy finger foods.

May 5, 2013
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