May 2nd: Bits & Bobs: American Soda Special 2012 #2

You may have noticed that American Soda have been adding many new products to their site recently.Luckily for me, every time they do this I get a lovely package of samples with all their new stock in - long may this continue :D In order to keep you all up to date as to what they have I think there's no better way of displaying it all than in a Bits n Bobs post - please inform me should you think otherwise :D

Whoppers Strawberry MilkshakeKcal 190 Fat 8.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 30.0g (per 41.0g)

I would love to say we are starting the reviews today off on a positive note but I'm afraid this is just not so. My expectations of these strawberry milkshake flavoured Whoppers weren't sky high, but to say they exceeded even my low ones would be a flat out lie. Before you ask my expectations were low due to my previous experiences with Hershey's Whoppers (See HERE), which suffice to say weren't exactly favourable. Being the hero I am *ahem* I didn't let this put me off, though I did call in back-up in the form of some work colleagues. Upon opening the product the age old Whoppers issue of them being loosely contained within the box reared it's head once again - that's just sloppy presentation if you ask me. I guess more importantly when it came to the taste, things didn't really improve my perceptions of the product. The outer strawberry flavoured coating melted with a waxy, slowness and the taste was all to obviously horribly artifical. I wasn't expecting the truest of strawberry fruit tastes, but this was reminiscent of cheap strawberry bubblegum I used to buy as a little kid which wasn't a memory I needed reminding of. This poor tasting coating paired with the dry textured, sugary malt centers really did nothing for me, and I wasn't alone given the similar reactions of my tasting panel. These aren't a product that carry a JCM recommendation.

4.0 out of 10

Pop Tarts Frosted Hot Fudge SundaeKcal 190 Fat 5.0g Fat(sats) 2.0g Carbs 33.0g (per pastry)

It wont surprise any of you to hear that a pack of Pop Tarts was part of my latest American Soda sample package! Indeed I am slowly continuing my way through the entire Pop Tarts range - if they would stop releasing so many damn limited editions I would probably be better than half way now (other reviews See HERE). Further putting the UK's two flavour range to shame, this Frosted Hot Fudge Sundae variety is yet another from the Ice Cream Shoppe line up. Though lacking a formal product description, the picture of the ice cream sundae on the front of the pack set expectations suitably. The pastries themselves both looked and smelt appetizing, with the multi-coloured hundreds-&-thousands decoratively coating the white coloured frosting. Expecting the worst (a barrage of sugar gluttony!), I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of the center filling as it far less sweet than I imagined it was going to be. Instead of the sugar intensive experience expected it was actually light tasting and had a nice vanilla hint to it. This complimented the chocolate pastry exterior nicely and was especially enjoyable when eaten from a frozen state. You may have gathered but I enjoyed these a lot more than I thought I was going to. My top tip would be to enjoy them from the freezer! It's not as crazy as it sounds :D

7.7 out of 10

Flipz Dark Chocolate
Kcal 130 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 4.0g Carbs 19.0g

I still don't quite understand why we no longer get these 'Flipz' pretzels here in the UK, as every time the chaps at AmericanSoda send some my way (sourced from the US of course!!) the people I share them with always speak so highly of them. It's always the case that my fellow taste testers, no matter who they are, have a story to tell about how much they used enjoy them and how much they miss them. The reasoning behind them being banished from the UK for almost decades now I really don't know!? What I can tell you about though is just how great these dark chocolate Flipz are - I recently got the chance to munch my way through a 113.0g bag I got sent by AS. Now I'm not sure how long this particular variant has been around for, but one thing I've noticed since Flipz got taken over from Nestle by DeMet's is that there seems to have been an increase in the number of flavours. Having tried a few of them e.g. double dipped Peanut Butter HERE, I would like to put forward that these dark chocolate covered have in actual fact been my favorites. These weren't 'double dipped' or anything special like that, but the chocolate that coated the salty pretzels was so much better than the choc usef on the original milk chocolate variant. Aesthetically they didn't look all that promising with their dusty, scuffed looking appearance, but taste wise the 50.0% cocoa chocolate really came in to it's own. The chocolate quality wasn't up there with Hotel Chocolat etc, but to say it was coming close to at least Lindt standards should give you some idea how much I rated it. Contrary to presentation the melt was well paced and smooth, and the unsweetened cocoa flavours grew in volume and intensity as it developed. Paired with the salty, crunchy Pretzels it was a highly complimentary and enjoyable pairing. Suffice to say my only disappointment with these came when I reached into the bag to find it empty. If you are planning on reacquainting yourself with Flipz anytime soon, why not give these dark chocolate ones a try.

8.4 out of 10