March 7th: Bits & Bobs: American Soda Special 2012 #1

I wish I could say that I was travelling back and forth from the US to source all of these latest American snacks, but reality is that it's those chaps at American Soda who are continually supplying me. Indeed today I bring you another set of mini-reviews of some of the latest snacks they've sent my way. Be sure to check out the American Soda site for yourselves! Remember they ship all across Europe!

Hershey's Cookies n Creme DropsKcal 300 Fat 16.0g Fat(sats) 10.0g Carbs 30.0g (per pack)

I have to admit I do have a nostalgia sourced soft spot for this Hershey's Cookies n Creme chocolate. For some reason or other it got adopted as one of the family favourites as we commonly bought it during our many trips to Disney World Florida in my childhood. Anything that reminds me of Disney World is always going to be welcome in my mind so perhaps consider taking my view of these with a large pinch of salt :D With that said I have to say these were pretty darn good. The ingredients list would rival most chemistry sets but there's just something about the sugary, dairy strong 'chocolate' that is really quite appealing when eaten in moderation - it reminds a bit of carnation milk. Impressively, the little bits of cookie were still as forthcoming as in the bar format, and the oreo type chocolateyness and crunch was a part of every individual drop. I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to consume a king sized pack in one sitting, but these are one of those chocolate packs that are nice to have around for a quick handful every now and then. I wouldn't stretch as far as saying these are highly superior to the bar format, but as a standalone product they are one of the better Hershey's products in my opinion.

8.0 out of 10

Red Velvet Cupcake Bites
Kcal 180 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 27.0g (per 40.0g)

I've been highly critical of rather a few Taste of Nature products previously so my expectations for these new Red Velvet Cupcake Bites were hardly what one would describe as sky high. After a little talk around from my AmericanSoda contact Ben however, he told me that these were the nicest ones he had tried from the range. After a recommendation like that I really couldn't turn them down so I gave these 'bite sized cupcake morsels in creamy red frosting' a try. Just like the previously reviewed Cookie Dough Bites (See HERE), these Red Velvet Cupcake Bites came in a 88.0g cardboard box with the pieces contained within a plastic packet. The thick red coloured coatings looked a little thick and waxy for my liking, however I found that they melted at a decent rate and they surprisingly established a pleasant white chocolate like milky taste. At the centre of each of these pieces, the crumbly soft innards created a convincing cake batter taste. Colour me surprised folks - these actually tasted of cupcakes! Whilst I wouldn't go as far as saying these were excellent in any way, I would stretch to giving them a single JCM thumbs up. If I was to recommend one from the TON range it would be these.

7.8 out of 10

Lucky CharmsKcal 180 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 27.0g (per 40.0g)

Ever since I reviewed my first cereal product here on ChocolateMission one of the most commonly received reader requests is for a review of General Mills's Lucky Charms cereal. Having reviewed the chocolate version a while back last year (See HERE), I decided that a few single serve portions would suffice so I asked Ben @AmericanSoda if I could have some of the 49.0g single bowl portions sent my way. Within days I was setting my usual porridge to one side and instead pouring my milk on these 'frosted toasted oat cereal with marshmallows'. As you can see from my photo one thing you can't accuse Lucky Charms of is not being is colourful. The marshmallows come in every colour you can think of - I'll let you decide whether that's a good thing or not what with all the colourings. I will keep this short and sweet (haha aren't I hilarious) as my conclusions are very much the same as they were about the chocolate variety. The taste is ridiculously sugary, yet the combination of the corn cereal and marshmallows have an alarming moreishness. Eaten on it's own the lightness of the cereal is a real turn off for me as I find it so non-fufiling. Added to another healthier, plainer tasting cereal however it becomes a charming (Ok I'll stop now haha!) addition. This cereal is one of those iconic American foods you should try if only to say you have. There is every chance you will become a fan of them.

7.2 out of 10