Tag Archives: fall

31 Days of Junk: Pumpkin Patch Orange Pop Rocks (#11)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I was on my third glass of wine (2014 Syrah, Gainey Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley) when I remembered I hadn’t eaten my #31DaysOfJunk candy for the day. Suddenly, I was struck with a bit of a dilemma: what candy would pair well with a wine that features flavors like dark fruit, chocolate, and black pepper?

I would have gone with some Hershey’s Miniatures—they probably would’ve been pretty perfect, in fact—but I’ll be danged if I didn’t already review them earlier in the week. My other options included sour things, marshmallowy things, and a few candy corn/mellowcreme style treats—none of which really called out to me and my purple tongue.

I eventually decided on Pumpkin Patch Orange Pop Rocks. For whatever reason, I felt the zip and effervescence of the ‘rocks would pair nicely with the juicy, big flavor of this delicious goddamn wine I’m currently in the middle of drinking.

And pair well I think they did. Look, you can never really go wrong with Pop Rocks. Their packaging is great (gotta love bright colors on a black background) and the product itself is pure magic: it feels like you’re eating carbonated moon dust or something.

The flavor here isn’t anything out of the ordinary—straight-up orange. And the thing about Pop Rocks is the flavor is never overpowering. It’s present, but the main draw is the popping action. That’s what you come from, that’s what takes center stage. So the subtle flavoring made it a good choice to pair with this wine. Have I mentioned how delicious it is? Seriously, if you ever find yourself in Santa Barbara County along the 1, I highly recommend stopping by one of their many wineries. So many great wines out there!

Advertisements

31 Days of Junk: Jones Soda “Blood Orange” (#8)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I don’t remember how old I was when I and my friends discovered Jones Soda—14 or 15, probably—but I do remember what an impact it had on us as a group. At the time, our punk rock inklings were starting to mineralize; our obsession with art, and counter-culture, and whatever it was we thought was the meaning of life (skateboarding and watching movies), all coming together, coalescing to create who we were as young people and future adults. And suddenly, we had the perfect beverage which embodied all of that and more: Jones Soda.

Artsy photographs, a different one on each bottle, instead of a repetitive boring logo? Photos which could be submitted by anyone—even us? It was a game-changer. We’d had enough of Coca-Cola! We were through with Mug Root Beer. No more Surge! We wanted Jones Soda! And have Jones Soda, we did: we drank the stuff religiously, shelling out our allowances for over-priced 4-packs of the stuff.

It’s how I imagine Gen Xers felt when OK Soda came out.

I mention all of this because I probably haven’t had Jones Soda since then—so 20 years, give or take. (Good lord, where does the time go?) Wait, I take it back: last year, I did have a sip of some of their Thanksgiving-flavored sodas at a party. (Which were from the year 2005; we were drinking sodas that were 12-years-old.) All of this is to say: I haven’t had a proper, unexpired Jones Soda in a very long time.

I also haven’t had a blood orange in a very long time either, so I’m not sure if the flavor of this Halloweeny treat is spot-on. But it’s definitely orangey. Much like the soda I drank last week for #31DaysOfJunk, this one also tastes like a melted popsicle. That’s my biggest takeaway: Jones Soda Blood Orange tastes like a melted orange popsicle. So, y’know, good and sugary.

It has a brilliant, almost glowing, orange color to it. Downright iridescent! I will still take this over Surge any day of the week.

31 Days of Junk: Hershey’s Miniatures (#7)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Does any candy scream “AUTUMN!” more than these Hershey’s Miniatures? I think not. There is something very nostalgic about the foil-tipping on the little bars. Bronze, silver, metallic orange and red. When I see these at the store, I know summer is officially over.

As a kid, I just wanted the dark chocolate ones. That’s all I cared about. As an adult, however, I’m less judgy and will take whatever I can get. I’ve developed a surprising affinity for Mr. Goodbar. Krackel is still my least favorite, though. Just never cared for crisped rice in my candies—sue me!

However, I did have a revolutionary idea last week about how to use these babies in a new way: add them to s’mores! Sure, the tiny Hershey bar would be redundant. But Mr. Goodbar, heck even Krackel, on a s’more? This must be how Al Gore felt when he invented the Internet.

Finally, as a staunch traditionist and purist when it comes to meaningless things from my youth that I hold dear, it surprises me to say this, but: it’d be cool if they included some new mini versions—maybe a one-time thing, for a special occasion? I’d love mini versions of a Symphony bar, 5th Avenue, or Take 5!

31 Days of Junk: Cadbury Screme Egg (#4)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Full disclosure: I don’t like Cadbury Creme Eggs. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one, so maybe it’s unfair of me to say I don’t like them. As a kid, I genuinely thought it was a chocolate covered egg yolk/albumen, and that thought sickened me. So, naturally, I avoided them.

Here’s a funny story: In fifth grade, our teacher sprang an unexpected assignment on the class. “The first three people to turn in their papers,” he declared, “will get a surprise.” Of course, I just had to have that surprise, and being the little overachiever I was (a trait which waved bye-bye to me long ago), I actually finished first. I trotted up to my teacher’s desk, paper in hand, and eagerly awaited my surprise. He examined my work, gave an approving grunt, and then as if he’d suddenly remembered what he’d promised, frazzedly began rifling through his desk drawers, in search of the surprise he’d clearly fabricated in order to get the class to finish the assignment.

“Ah, here you go,” he said. From the top drawer of his desk, he produced an out-of-season Cadbury Creme Egg; dinged, dented, and flakes of foil peeled back and missing. This was my surprise. He handed me the egg (which, at the time, I think I still believed was a real egg), and sent me back to my desk. Talk about feeling scammed!

This is all to say that I really don’t have much to compare Cadbury’s spooky “Screme Egg” to. From the outside, it looks like a regular old Cadbury Creme Egg, the recognizable star shape stamped into the side of the chocolate shell. The inside of the Screme, however, is much cooler than a regular Creme: instead of yellow and white innards (barf), we get green and white innards! (Cool!)

The whiteness of the goo is a tad pearlescent, which is sort of pretty for a candy. When it got melty and mixed with the slime green, it created this minty color which looked like toothpaste. (Same consistency, too.) As for its flavor: straight-forward sugary vanilla, how I imagine it would taste eating a Yankee Candle.

All in all, a simple yet fun twist on the Easter treat.