May 21st: AmericanSoda Super Post - May 2012

The guys over at AmericanSoda have been busy updating their stock with some of the newest snacks available in the US. What with every product currently on sale here in the UK now being draped in Union Jack packaging, it was certainly nice to be able to try some products sourced a little further away from home. Here are my thoughts on some of the products I've recently been treated to by @AmericanSoda

Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips - Coconut

Kcal 150 Fat 4.0g Fat 2.5g Carbs 31.0g (per 40.0g serving)

Colour me confused people! I did a little background research on these *New* Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips and it appears that aren't all that new it seems. In fact, looking at this review by Rosa over at ZomgCandy (See HERE), it would appear that these have been around for a fair few years already. One can only assume that Jelly Belly are alluding to this particular format being new, and not the actual product!? Whatever I was the lucky receiver of these coconut flavoured Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips which I got sent in an 80.0g pack (supposedly two servings!). What with all the chocolate I have to try for the site, I don't often eat many other sugary snacks, thus it had been a while since I last had Jelly Beans. Well this all changed last week when I tried out these 'coconut flavoured Jelly Belly beans coated in dark chocolate', and I'm happy to say it was favourable reunion. To be honest I wasn't expecting much from the chocolate and it came to my pleasant surprise that it wasn't half bad. The melt was perhaps a little slow initiating, however once the glazing agent had diminished it was all upwards from there and each mouthful of jelly beans at least started with a pleasant, unsweetened chocolate flavour hit. If anything it was actually the Jelly Beans themselves that were a little bit under-powered and not as strong as I wanted. The sweet coconut flavours did come through once the beans were chewed, though it was the chocolate I found myself appreciating more and it was certainly the longer sustained influence on the taste. I'm certainly very keen to try some more of the other flavours Jelly Belly have to offer - would it be too much to ask for a chocolate dipped mixed variety!?

7.3 out of 10

Kellogg's Pop Tarts Frosted Chocolate Fudge

Kcal 200 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 1.5g Carbs 37.0g (per pastry)

It wouldn't be a real AmericanSoda super post without the standard Pop Tarts review now would it!? I think I must have tried in the region of twenty different flavours now - some great, some bad, some indifferent (you can see all my previous reviews HERE). The flavour on offer to me this time around were these Pop Tarts Frosted Chocolate Fudge - a flavour I had been a little hesitant to try previously as I believed they would just be the same as our British made Chocotastic flavour (See HERE). This preconception was born out of the fact that every photo I had seen of these Chocolate Fudge pastries looked identical to the Pop Tarts I had eaten so often as a nipper. When I received these in person I saw first hand that this wasn't an inaccurate observation. Indeed they looked no different at all to our UK chocolate ones so it was at this point I just knew I had to do a side-by-side comparison taste test. The result of this was that I found myself favouring the American ones! Trust me my research was thorough, and I tried them toasted, frozen and ultimately my favourite method of straight from the packet. The main difference between the two was that the pastry on the American Chocolate Fudge wasn't quite so dominant as the one used in the UK ones. It was lighter in texture and had a crumblier biscuit like mouth feel that didn't feel like every last drop of moisture was being sucked away when enjoyed at room temperature. This lower emphasis on the pastry made the chocolate flavours come through stronger and thankfully they seemed more chocolatey and creamy than the over powering sugary experience I expected. As you know I don't like to promote these as an everyday food stuff but as a nice treat to have from time-to-time I would happily suggest them as a fun, adaptable chocolatey option.

7.6 out of 10

Snyder's Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces

Kcal 140 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 3.0g Carbs 18.0g (per 28.0g serving)

Since starting this website many a reader has asked me whether I felt like broadening my reviews across other types of snacks and I've always given the same answer that it was 'unlikely'. I've maintained that stance for the sole reason that I find it difficult enough keeping you all up-to-date on everything in the chocosphere - opening the site up further would no doubt make the site an insurmountable task if I wanted to ensure I was providing the latest cutting edge content. As a bit of a compromise I've decided to start dropping in a few other savoury snack features when I come across something I really like. There will no scores, no graphs ... just a few words on what it is and in hopefully most cases where to buy it.

.... which bring me nicely to today's little feature - these Snyder's Honey Mustard & Pretzel Pieces. I got these as a little courtesy gift from guess who AmericanSoda. Indeed this curious little pack of pretzels made it's way into my latest sampling pack and despite my initial skepticism I can ashamedly say I'm now hooked on them. The combination of the sweet honey and slightly mouth warming roast red onion flavours make an incredibly moreish salty snack.The mustard element isn't particularly spicy or hot like our English yellow stuff - these had more of a milder Dijon, vinegary type influence to them.  I thought these were very good and I was disappointed to find that my bag emptied so quickly - I'm certainly keen as mustard (haha!) to try more of the Snyder's range. These get a definite JCM savoury snack thumbs up!