October 5th: 'Bits n Bobs' American Soda Selection

My pals at AmericanSoda (See HERE) have been sending me all sorts of tasty American snacks and treats lately. Some of them have been great, some of them not so much :D What better way for me to give you a quick run down of them all than via one of my famous 'Bits n Bobs' posts!?
Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Chewy
Kcal 120 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 17.0g (per 2 cookies)

It was only a few weeks ago that I posted my review of the original Nabisco Chip Ahoy! where I concluded that for store bought cookies they weren't a 'half bad option'. Following that review, several JCM readers requested I try the Chewy variant that had recently been added to the AmericanSoda website ...... wollah ... :D

AmericanSoda kindly provided me with a 396.0g pack that included around 30 or so cookies which were contained in a red coloured resealable foil pack. In hand, these Chewy cookies were smaller in size and and softer to touch though we had no issues of crumbling which one might have expected. Taste wise these delivered broadly the same experience to the original variant cookies, though one of my co-workers commented that they tasted more chocolatey as the number of chocolate chips was maintained despite the smaller size. As promised the cookies were softer in texture, and melted very nicely to give what I thought was more pleasant mouth feel. To be frank these didn't offer much differentiation from a typical Chips Ahoy! experience, however if you are one of those people that likes to change things up every now and then you could have some fun to be had with these.

7.8 out of 10

Marshmallow Fluff Vanila
Kcal 60 Fat 0.0g Fat(sats) 0.0g Carbs 15.0g (2 tsp - 18.0g)

I honestly can't tell you how much fun I've been having with this stuff :D Indeed for the past week or so I've been experimenting with all different manner of food/drink stuffs trying to find the optimal situation for use of this dexterous ingredient. I present to you vanilla flavoured Marshmallow Fluff - 'a very sweet, spreadable, marshmallow-like confection' (according to Wiki).

With great difficulty you will be able to make out the marshmallow based substance piled on to my spoon in my photo above. As you can hopefully see, this was spoon-able mallow substance that can be used in a number of different ways. I tried it with ice cream, yoghurt, crackers, biscuits, milk, coffees etc ... you name it I stuck Fluff on it. Most the time the Fluff added a startling sugar hit to the taste, though as promised it did also bring a hint of vanilla which made it more than just a sugary gloop. By far and away the best usage of this Fluff came when making the famous American 'Fluffernutter' aka for me here toast with peanut butter and fluff. The salty sweet combination was quite the experience - definitely not a 'have everyday' sort of experience, but more a once or twice a year special occasion sort of pleasantness. If you like your sweet food ingredients you need to make sure you have a jar of Marshmallow Fluff in your cupboard just for when you need that extreme junk food indulgence snack.

7.0 out of 10

Moon Pie Double Decker Chocolate Flavour
Kcal 300 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 5.0g Carbs 55.0g

I was delighted this month to finally lay hands on to one of America's most commonly referred to pop culture snacks the Moon Pie. Moon Pies have always been one of those things that I knew existed and heard talked about a lot in US TV programming, however until this time I had never tried one myself. After pulling a few American Soda strings I finally got my opportunity to put this straight.

According to Wiki a Moon Pie 'is a pastry which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in chocolate or other flavours'. The Moon Pie I managed to lay hands on was of the 'Double Decker' variety, which as you can see, double up the Graham Cracker and marshmallow layers. The presentation of the pie was a little iffy, though I have given it the benefit of the doubt considering how far it travelled. What was blindingly evident however was the thickness (or lack of!) of the chocolate layer - it was frankly a non-existent aspect of the taste and got lost in the cracker and marshmallow elements. Speaking of which both the cracker and marshmallow constituents were hardly the most flavoursome in isolation, however together they combined for a fair salty biscuit wafer and sweet mallow synergy which meant it at least offered a token taste. To be honest I was expecting a little more from such a highly talked about snack - I think I may need to do a redux-review later down the line.

6.2 out of 10

Kellogg's Pop Tarts S'mores
Kcal 200 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 1.5g Carbs 36.0g (per pastry)

No AmericanSoda feature would be complete without a Kellogg's Pop Tarts flavour review, and today we finish off with this S'mores flavour. AmericanSoda have one of the biggest ranges of Pop Tarts here in the UK with nearly twenty different flavours on offer - See HERE. I'm sure you will all be amazed at the amount of variety they have in the US compared to just the two Chocolate and strawberry flavours we have here.

If any of you are thinking that the sound of a 'chocolate and marshmallow filling inside a chocolate-icing topped graham cracker pastry' sounds rather familiar then the chances are you previously tried the Pop Tarts Choco-Mallow we used to get here in the UK. I used to have them as a kid myself, so everything from the appearance to the toasted aromas felt very nostalgic and took me back to my childhood and getting ready for school in the mornings. With memory Lane affections put to one side I tried these in two forms frozen (thanks for the tip Marvo! See HERE) and toasted. Unlike my 'Impulsive Buy' blogger friend I have to say I much preferred these when they were toasted as they the chocolate flavour hit cut through the sugaryness of the marshmallow and icing with greater effect. When frozen I didn't feel like I got the savoury cereal balance from the pastry, and the bran saltiness seemed greater when heated providing superior balance. I would rate this S'mores flavour as up there with some of the better Pop Tarts.

7.8 out of 10