Clamayto, Clamahto

27 03 2011

Don’t say it; I know.

I’ve been abandoned this blog for over three weeks now. I’m a terrible, horrible person.

Would it help if I said this has been the craziest three weeks of my life so far? No, probably not.

Well, at any rate, partly as self-punishment for taking three weeks off and partly for the entertainment value, I confronted one of my biggest fears today: Clamato juice.

I know it’s normal to some people. I know that, but I’ll never understand it. Ketchup is fine. Tomato soup is OK. Clam chowder is delicious. But mixing clams and tomatoes is just…wrong. So wrong.

In spite of my misgivings, I drank Clamato juice today. I sacrificed myself. I put myself through hell, just for you people. I hope you’re satisfied.

There are two great mysteries surrounding the juice: Whether Clamato is pronounced Clamayto or Clamahto, and why on earth anyone enjoys drinking it.

According to ChaCha, it’s pronounced Clamayto, which is awesome because that’s how I’ve always pronounced it and all these people have told me I’m saying it wrong. So there. In your face, all those people.

As for the second mystery, that’s what I was about to find out. Maybe.

With everything I try, I always figure someone, somewhere out there likes it. It’s what keeps me going when I’m faced with things like green pepper jelly and beet cookies. And it’s what helps me sleep at night afterward, despite my indigestion-induced nightmares.

Remember how I have this weird habit of smelling food before I try it? Well, I opened the bottle of Clamato juice, stuck my nose right up to the opening, took a big whiff — and nearly passed out. Don’t try this at home. If you’re going to smell Clamato juice for whatever reason, keep your distance in the process. If you’re a kidnapper or an aspiring kidnapper, this might actually come in handy. I mean, this stuff’s way cheaper than chloroform, and it pretty much has the same effect on people.

Holding my breath (yes, really), I poured myself a glass of the bright red, foul-smelling liquid. “Are you ready for this?” I asked my family, who were all watching in anticipation. (I did say entertainment value, didn’t I?) I’m not sure they were ready, and I know I sure wasn’t, but I threw back a hearty gulp anyway.

There are no words.

Nothing in the English language exists that is horrible enough to describe the taste of Clamato juice. It was like something had died and sat marinating in it for days. A clam, probably. Or many clams.

It was like watery clam chowder without all the milky goodness that makes up clam chowder…so really, just the clamminess. That, and slightly spicy tomato soup. Oh, and maybe some vinegar thrown in for good measure.

It smelled better than it tasted, which is normally not the case with any kind of strange food I try. If something smells like dead clams in ketchup, and it smells better than it tastes, you know you’ve got a problem.

In short, it tasted the same going down as it probably would coming back up. Or will. My stomach’s not feeling so good anymore.

I have a question for all of you insane, Clamato-loving people out there: What’s wrong with you? How do you do it? How on earth does this stuff taste good to you? Or is it really more of a masochistic method of proving your invulnerability to things that taste like death? Be honest with me, because I’m genuinely curious. And I can’t decide if your enjoyment of this stuff inspires awestruck respect or utter disgust in me. Maybe a little bit of both.

I’m going to leave you all with today’s lesson in the form of a simple mathematic equation:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go brush my teeth for the tenth time.

———

Ingredients: Water, tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, salt, citric acid, onion powder, celery seed, ascorbic acid (to maintain color), garlic powder, dried clam broth, spices, vinegar, natural flavors and Red 40.
Price: $2.99 at Fry’s
Pros: It’s red. I like red. Red is one of my favorite colors.
Cons: You’re better off just eating rotting clams and washing them down with ketchup and vinegar. It probably tastes better.





Clear, liquid Thin Mints

25 02 2011

When I think chocolate mint, I think Girl Scout cookies.

And when I think Girl Scout cookies, I think of the little triplets who live down the street and always come to our door asking us to buy a box of cookies … or two … or ten. I always end up with a million Tagalongs. I love Tagalongs.

Thin Mints are pretty great, too. Even though I’ve never been a big fan of mint, I do like it with chocolate — and  Thin Mints are the epitome of chocolate-mint cookies.

I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten Thin Mints and drank water with them. I’m also pretty darn sure I’ve never had that Thin Mint flavor in my water.

But in the natural foods section at Fry’s, that’s essentially what I found.

The brand is called Metromint, and it sells mint-flavored water in a rainbow of varieties: cherrymint, lemonmint, orangemint … and the most intriguing, chocolatemint.

Flavored water is pretty normal. But chocolate-flavored water? I had to try it.

I’m actually almost positive I’ve seen this stuff before. Last year in one of my classes, a girl brought in a bottle of “chocolatemint water,” and everyone was intrigued. As I recall, she also sat with the girls who everyone suspected brought vodka to class in their water bottles … so maybe it wasn’t chocolatemint water after all. But I digress.

I put this stuff in the freezer for an hour or so before I drank it so it would be nice and frosty. When I opened up the bottle and poured some in a glass (just in case anyone else wanted some and was terrified of my cooties), I gave it a cautious sniff.

Wow. Definitely mint. In fact, I could barely smell chocolate — but it had a strong spearmint scent.

Mint water? I thought. I guess that’s not so weird.

I took a generous sip, and I was shocked.

It tasted like … well, water.

(That was “well, water,” people. Not “well water.” That’s an entirely different story.)

I poured myself some more and took several more sips, trying to discern a flavor. I could make out a very, very faint hint of mint (and maybe chocolate), but I suspect that had more to do with the strong smell of the water than its actual taste. There was a slight aftertaste of mint, which reminded me of the toothpaste they use at the dentist’s office — only way more subtle.

I don’t get it. How can something have such a pungent odor and be next to tasteless? Maybe I just have insensitive taste buds (death by green pepper jelly?). The ingredients say it contains mint and cocoa essence … does “essence” involve briefly setting the bottle next to an unwrapped Hershey’s bar and hoping it soaks in the ambience? Because that’s about what it tasted (or didn’t taste) like, chocolate-wise.

On the plus side, the water has no sugar (or Sucralose, or anything) added. It’s just naturally flavored (or supposedly flavored) water. So zero calories, zero carbs, zero fat … and zero guilt.

Except maybe the price tag, that is. $1.50 for a small bottle of water is a little pricey, seeing as technically it’s just water. But hey, if you’re willing to pay a little extra for a very, very faint hint of flavor (and the chic factor of carrying around a bottle of mint water), then hey, more power to you.

———

Ingredients: Purified water, mint and cocoa essence.
Price: $1.49 at Fry’s.
Pros:
It’s refreshing. But then again, it’s water.
Cons: Tastes like water — er, more accurately, doesn’t really taste like anything, except a faint aftertaste of dentist’s-office toothpaste.





“You got white chocolate on my peanut butter!”

19 02 2011

Some days, I feel like a curmudgeonly old man in a 19-year-old woman’s body.

Is that weird? That’s weird, huh?

Well, fine. Not quite, then. But when I look back over some of my more sarcastic blog posts, I feel like I’m two steps away from yelling at the neighbor’s snot-nosed kids to get off my lawn. Maybe that’s what happens after you eat enough green pepper jelly and beet cookies.

So today, I’m getting in touch with my inner eight-year-old for a change.

When I was a kid, my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world was peanut butter sandwiches. Not peanut butter and jelly … just good ol’ peanut butter on wheat bread, spread nice and thick. (I only ate jelly in the form of Goober, and that was only because the stripes were too cool not to eat.)

Peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly, please and thank you) are still a favorite snack, especially now that my life consists of going to school, coming home and having 10 minutes to eat, and then dashing off to work or whatever else I happen to have going on. Peanut butter sandwiches are a classic.

I never thought I’d find anything terribly out-of-the-ordinary in the peanut butter aisle. Until I actually looked, that is.

I dragged my boyfriend with me on my food-searching adventure this time, mostly because he’s the kind of person who thinks things like clam juice are perfectly normal. He’s that balancing factor when I’m deciding what to blog about. As open-minded as he is about food, I know of at least one thing he really can’t stand: white chocolate.

So when I spotted a jar of white chocolate peanut butter and picked it up and showed it to him, his facial expression can only be described as priceless. Well, that and utter disgust.

Personally, I’m a big white chocolate fan. In fact, I love those white chocolate Reese’s — they’re one of my favorite kinds of candy. But seeing white-chocolate-flavored peanut butter took me back to my high school days.

See, there was this kid at lunch who, almost without fail, would always bring chocolate peanut butter sandwiches. He literally spread peanut butter on once slice of white bread, then took the other slice and drizzled a heaping amount of Hershey’s syrup onto it. By the time lunch rolled around, the syrup had soaked into the bread. I could never decide if this was absolutely revolting or absolutely wonderful, until the day he offered me a bite and I tried it for myself.

I will never forget that horrendous moment. I don’t think I ate anything involving Hershey’s syrup for a very long time after that.

So when I saw the white chocolate peanut butter, my mind wrestled with my instincts. My mind told me it would be good, like those Reese’s cups. My instincts told me that this was nasty lunch sandwich, Take 2, and I should stay far away.

My mind won out. Kind of. It was really more that sick curiosity  — the one that compels me to watch horror movies and regret it later.

The outside of the jar (can I even call it a jar, since it’s plastic?) says, “Try me with pears.” I hated to disobey, but I don’t have any pears and didn’t think to actually read the jar — er, jar-ish thing — before leaving the store. So instead, I tried it the good, old-fashioned way: on a piece of wheat bread.

The peanut butter had an oily, kind of grainy consistency, which is pretty consistent — no pun intended — with natural peanut butters. (Since this was, after all, “no-stir natural” peanut butter. It’d better be, with the arm, leg and firstborn child I paid in exchange for the measly 16-ounce container.)

It smelled just like regular peanut butter, with no hint of white chocolate. But smells can be deceiving. I spread a generous amount on a slice of bread, lifted it to my mouth, and took a bite.

I was immediately transported back to that fateful lunch period in junior high, and I almost wanted to cry.

But once I pushed past the memory that the disturbingly sickly sweet taste brought to mind, I started to realize that this stuff actually tastes really, really good.

It doesn’t quite taste like white chocolate Reese’s, I’m sorry to say. But the sweetness of the white chocolate balanced out the nuttiness of the natural peanut butter quite nicely.

I wouldn’t recommend eating it in a sandwich, especially not with jelly. (And that’s not just because I don’t like jelly.) It’s a little (er, a lot) too sweet for that. But I can imagine it tasting good on pears, like the … jar thing … recommends, and it would probably be pretty yummy on graham crackers as a quasi-healthy snack.

Oh, and the best part? Speaking of quasi-healthy, the peanut butter is made with evaporated cane juice. There’s no Sucralose in this one — not this time.

———

Ingredients: Peanuts, evaporated cane juice, vanilla, cocoa butter, palm fruit oil, lecithin (from sunflowers) and salt.
Price: $4.49 at Fry’s Marketplace.
Pros:
Kinda like a Reese’s. Kinda. Plus it’s all-natural and has a refreshingly short ingredients list.
Cons: Junior-high lunches involving chocolate syrup and peanut butter sandwiches.





The Fountain of Youth in a can

11 02 2011

For whatever reason, people always think I’m younger than I am. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I hear, “So are you 15 or 16?” or “What year of high school are you in?” I’ll be 20 this year, thank you very much, and technically I’m a junior. In college.

People tell me I’ll appreciate it when I’m 50. I guess so.

And as it turns out, in the event that my eternal youth proves to be not-so-eternal, there’s apparently a canned drink that will restore it.

It’s called “Self,” which seems narcissistic at best and redundant at worst, but I’ll roll with it. I found it at Sprouts among the “healthy energy drinks” and all that other stuff that may or may not work (but probably doesn’t).

It’s produced by Hansen’s, which makes those amazing all-natural sodas that I love so much … so that in itself made the drink sound promising.

They market it as a “beauty elixir,” which reminded me of wizards and alchemy and didn’t help quite as much with the promising factor.

There were three flavors on the shelf — tropical bliss, pink lemonade and blushing berry — and I went with blushing berry because it sounded the most cryptic. I mean, what kind of berries are we talking about … and why are they blushing, exactly?

The side of the can reads, “Revitalize your inner beauty with a sexy blend of exotic berries, botanical extracts, nutrients and antioxidants!” I’m not sure how berries can be sexy, but I was intrigued nonetheless.

I opened it up and poured it into a glass (after giving the pretty blue tab to my little sister to put in her shoelace … I’m honestly not sure why). “Blushing” was a good adjective after all — the juice had a pale pink color like … I don’t know, embarrassed water or something. It actually looked a little gross.

But when I took a sip, I was pleasantly surprised.

It reminded me of raspberry lemonade somehow, which doesn’t make much sense because there’s no lemon in it, but it had the same sweet-and-sour taste.  The aftertaste wasn’t so great, though: a couple of seconds after taking a sip, I could tell for certain that the juice was made with Sucralose. A quick glance at the ingredients confirmed it.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t buy into the whole chemical-sugar-substitute thing. Give me pure cane juice any day, but keep Splenda away from me. I can taste a difference, and it’s not a good thing. Sucralose, to me, tastes nothing like sugar — and I’m not a fan of chemical substitutes to begin with.

On the plus side, the drink does contain natural flavors, lots of juice concentrates, green tea extract and other extracts that are apparently chock-full of antioxidants. (It also has only 35 calories in the whole can — thanks to the Sucralose, I’m sure.)

I suppose all this could technically make you look younger … or at least more revitalized and rejuvenated (it’s Big Word Day), but I’m not sure I’m buying into it. It tastes OK, it contains some good stuff … but I’d rather drink water and eat a banana every day, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do to keep the wrinkles away. This juice might be a better alternative to lemonade or soda, but I don’t think it’s exactly what Juan Ponce de León was looking for.

———

Ingredients: An infusion of reverse-osmosis water; apple juice concentrate; natural flavors; citric acid; vitamin E; ascorbic acid (vitamin C); blackberry, blueberry, red raspberry, strawberry and cranberry juice concentrates; fruit and vegetable extract (for color); Sucralose; acerola extract; chamomile flower extract; vitamin A; zinc sulfate monohydrate; niacinamide (vitamin B3); green tea extract; D-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5); cocoa powder extract; vitamin B6; açai concentrate; mangosteen extract; pomegranate concentrate; biotin; selenium; vitamin B12.
Price: $1.49 at Sprouts.
Pros:
Only 35 calories per can; lots of antioxidants; tastes … decent.
Cons: Sucralose. Yuck.





Muffin tops — the healthy way

4 02 2011

The other day, I was wandering through Fry’s searching for unconventional food, when I came upon a treasure trove: the organic section. Whether it’s new or I’ve just been completely oblivious to it until now, I’m not sure, but I’d definitely hit the jackpot. Now, I’m not saying that natural food in general is weird — I love most organic food — but there’s definitely some not-so-normal stuff out there.

Take VitaTops, for instance: muffins that have two-thirds of their muffiny goodness missing, leaving only … a muffin top.

I could make so many jokes. But for your sake, I’ll refrain.

VitaTops are apparently the amputee cousins of VitaMuffins, which are low-calorie (whole) muffins. VitaMuffins have 100 calories. VitaTops have 100 calories. Yet VitaTops are missing the crucial bottom part of the muffin, hence the name.

I’m confused. Did Vitalicious (the company that makes these — I see a “vitamin” theme here) decide to saw off more than half of the muffin and stuff all the calories into the top? What’s the point? Why not give people the whole muffin — or at least cut down the number of calories in the muffin tops?

According to the website, VitaTops are “more convenient to carry and eat on-the-run.” I don’t know … I felt kind of gypped when I paid nearly 6 dollars for a box of muffin tops when I could’ve had whole muffins. Still don’t see the point.

Ah, life’s little mysteries. Despite my indignation at the price, I went ahead and bought the muffin tops — “deep chocolate” flavored ones, since I figured if I was paying that much for pieces of muffins, I might as well get something that sounded tasty.

They’re supposed to be kept frozen, which I guess is less worrisome than them being non-perishable, because it probably means they have fewer preservatives. This morning, I opened the box and took out a muffin top: a nice little individually wrapped frozen puck. Yum.

The package said to heat it up for 18 seconds, so I did. After that, it was a nice little individually wrapped warm puck.

Coincidentally, my boyfriend bought me a chocolate chip muffin last night that I still hadn’t eaten by breakfast, so I put the two side-by-side for comparison’s sake. The real muffin made the puck look really pathetic. If I, in all my 5-foot-3 glory, stood next to Kobe Bryant, it might have the same effect.

Despite its (lack of) size, the muffin top did look good. I bit into it, expecting it to be warm and gooey … and part of it was. But the center was still frozen solid.

18 seconds in the microwave, my foot.

I put it in for another 10, and the results were much better. I took a bite, and then another bite, and then another … and within a minute, it was gone.

Yes, folks, that’s a good sign.

In spite of the slightly ridiculous fact that a VitaTop is only part of a muffin with the same number of calories as a whole muffin, these are still really good. (At least the “deep chocolate” ones are — other flavors include golden corn, banana nut and raisin bran.) Six dollars is slightly pricey for a box of 12, since they’re small, but they make a nutritious morning snack, and they taste like the real thing.

And, since the muffin tops only have 100 calories, if you eat them, you might be able to get rid of that muffin top.

There. I said it.

———

Ingredients: Water, whole wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, egg whites, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), cocoa (processed with alkali), soy fiber, erythritol, inulin, dried honey, wheat gluten, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, potassium bicarbonate), fruitrim (grape juice, brown rice syrup), tricalcium phosphate, natural flavor, sea salt, xanthan gum, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folic acid, iron, biotin and zinc.
Price: $5.69 at Fry’s
Pros:
100 calories; lots of vitamins; tastes good; convenient snack (what with the individual wrapping and all).
Cons: Muffin tops. Just the tops. I’d rather have a whole muffin.





Chocolate and cherries and yogurt, oh my!

28 01 2011

When I’m scouting grocery stores looking for out-of-the-ordinary items, I rarely think to look in the dairy section. I mean, what is there to find? Skim milk? Cheddar cheese? I’ve always assumed the strangest thing there is goat’s milk, and that’s not strange enough at all.

But this time, just for kicks and giggles, I made a stop in the dairy section. I’d never realized before just how many flavors of Yoplait yogurt exist — but man, I could probably live on yogurt for a week and not get tired of it, since I’d be eating a different kind for every meal.

Speaking of yogurt flavors, some of them were a little abnormal. Strawberry cheesecake? Chocolate mousse? Weird, but not weird enough to blog on.

But two of them caught my eye: Boston creme pie and black forest cake.

My sister was with me as my shopping buddy (because I’m socially awkward and can’t shop alone, remember?), and she adamantly claimed the Boston creme pie yogurt. Apparently she’s had it before, and she says it’s incredible. I decided to take her word for it.

But we both had the same reaction to the black forest cake yogurt: What on earth? Why?

Obviously I bought it.

Not only was the yogurt cake-flavored, it was also light. Now, “light” things might be good for you, but in my experience (Diet Coke, low-fat cheesecake, Spam…), anything that’s either had most of the fat or most of the sugar taken out of it doesn’t taste half as good. (Clearly I’m not the most health-conscious eater. I like to enjoy my life sometimes.)

Now, about this crazy yogurt. Black forest cake is a chocolate cake made with Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and filled with cherries. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten it — at least not that I can recall — but it sounds delicious.

But honestly, who makes yogurt that tastes like chocolate-cherry cake? I wasn’t sure how I felt about this.

Time to try it.

I peeled back the classic Yoplait foil lid and looked inside. The color — a gloomy grayish-pink — was definitely not appetizing. It reminded me of brains somehow.

And oh no, was that a chunk?

I can’t stand chunks in yogurt. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had texture issues with food. It’s not that I’m picky … just that I’m weird. Whenever I eat yogurt with fruit in it — even yogurt I love, like strawberry or raspberry — I have to either take the chunks out or eat around them. It’s kind of embarrassing.

But this time — just for you, dear reader — I scooped out a heaping spoonful of yogurt, with chunks. You should feel really special.

The yogurt was much more liquid than most other Yoplait yogurts I’ve eaten, but that might be because it was light … or because I normally get Whips, since they’re deliciously non-chunky.

At any rate, I lifted the quivering gray-pink (and chunky) mass to my mouth and ate it slowly, trying to savor it.

Conclusion? … I couldn’t decide what to think.

For one thing, the chunks weren’t really chunky, which was a nice relief for me (and my gag reflex). I’m pretty sure they were actually little pieces of cake … or low-fat imitation cake, or something.

But the yogurt didn’t taste like cake. In fact, it barely tasted like cherry.

If I hadn’t seen the label, I would’ve thought it was raspberry yogurt, with maybe a bit of cherry flavor mixed in. No chocolate, just fruit. And a not-so-pleasant sour aftertaste.

I made my mom try it, and her reaction was that it reminded her of cheesecake. I definitely didn’t get that impression, which makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with my mother’s taste buds (or mine). But the fact of the matter is, she liked it. She even volunteered to eat the rest.

But I wasn’t terribly impressed by it. There are better yogurt flavors out there, for sure. I was also disappointed because it didn’t taste as disgusting as I thought it would, so I don’t have much complaining to do today, which is a little sad for me.

Bottom line: If you like sour fruity yogurt with strange non-chunky chunks in it, pick this up. If you’re looking for yogurt that really tastes like chocolate-cherry cake, however, you’re better off baking a black forest cake and throwing it in a blender with some milk.

———

Ingredients: Cultured, pasteurized Grade-A nonfat milk; high fructose corn syrup; modified corn starch; cherries; nonfat milk; kosher gelatin; citric acid; malic acid; Aspartame; tricalcium phosphate; potassium sorbate added to maintain freshness; natural and artificial flavor; Red #40, vitamin A acetate; Blue #1, vitamin D.
Price: $0.50 at Wal-Mart
Pros:
Tastes like fruit. Always a good sign in yogurt that’s at least sort of meant to be fruit-flavored. Oh, and it’s pretty cheap.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like cake. Sad day.





Thanksgiving in January … for breakfast

20 01 2011

I was all set to go out searching today for the perfect food to blog about. Turns out I didn’t have to.

I was rummaging through the pantry in search of dinner when I came across a jumbo box of Pop-Tarts labeled “pumpkin pie.” Apparently my mom bought them earlier today for my sister, who begged and pleaded and gave her puppy-dog eyes.

Score.

So I didn’t even have to go shopping this time around — which makes it seem like I’m lazy or a recluse. Both are probably true.

It almost feels like a cop-out, since I love both pumpkin pie and Pop-Tarts, but hey, I started classes this week — it’s a wonder I’m taking the time away from my hated bio homework to blog at all.

Plus, pumpkin pie and Pop-Tarts, while they make for a great alliteration, don’t necessarily sound like the most delicious combination out there. Nor the most obvious combination — I mean, who eats pumpkin pie for breakfast?  Besides me, I mean.

Kellogg’s does a lot of strange things with their toaster pastries (e.g. flavoring them like strawberry milkshakes), but usually their efforts turn out well (e.g. strawberry-milkshake Pop-Tarts).

But “frosted pumpkin pie” is just a little strange.

Time to give it a try. I ripped open the foil package — which has always frustrated me because they put two pastries inside each package, like they automatically expect you to be a pig and eat both. And if you don’t eat both, you’re forced to find a little baggie to save the second one in, since now you’ve destroyed its packaging to get to the first one. I feel like Pop-Tarts need an announcement on the front of the boxes: “Individually wrapped … sort of.”

I pulled out one pastry (and found a little baggie for the other) and bit into it. Another pet peeve about Pop-Tarts (even though I love them anyway): The crusty edges are always so dry. They need to make crustless Pop-Tarts, like that crustless bread my mom always refused to buy me when I was a kid no matter how much I complained.

Once I found the actual filling, I was able to get a better idea of what the Pop-Tart was supposed to taste like. Well … sort of able to. For as strong as pumpkin-flavored things usually are, this was surprisingly weak. I could definitely taste the spices, but the pumpkin flavor was almost entirely in the aftertaste.

I don’t know why, but that made me kind of sad. Maybe it’s because I’m the kind of person who heaps extra frosting on my cake and prefers my Oreos double-stuffed. But whatever the case, the minuscule amount of filling in the PopTart was really disappointing. Especially because it was supposed to taste like pie. I like pie.

I finished the pastry — which I don’t always do with everything I try, so that’s an indication that it was at least OK. And that’s exactly what it was: not great, but good enough.

I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more filling in these, but maybe that’s just me being picky. If you’re a pumpkin liker and not a pumpkin lover, I’m sure these will work great for you. But if you eat pie for breakfast and you’re expecting these to be a perfect substitute, you should probably just stick to pie.

———

Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [Vitamin B1], riboflavin [Vitamin B2], folic acid), corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, soybean and palm oil (with TBHQ for freshness), dextrose, sugar, cracker meal, contains 2 percent or less of wheat starch, nonfat milk, salt, pumpkin, maltodextrin, cornstarch, corn cereal, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), molasses, yellow corn flour, eggs, gelatin, cinnamon, vanilla extract, modified cornstarch, nutmeg, ginger, caramel color, sunflower lecithin, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, cloves, Vitamin A palmate, niacinamide, reduced iron, Yellow #6, pyridoxine, hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Yellow #5, thiamin hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Red #40, folic acid and Blue #1.
Price: $3.42 at Wal-Mart (16 in box)
Pros:
Pumpkin pie … ish. Portable pie, in a way — if you’re a morning-pie person and you hate the fact that you always spill your pie all over yourself on your way to work, these are a good idea.
Cons: Doesn’t really taste like pie. So don’t expect a lot.








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