Sep 162013
 

mms-pumpkin-spice-candies Gonna admit something: Pumpkin-flavored things usually make me want to skip in the opposite direction. It’s not because pumpkin isn’t awesome, it’s because all those cheap imitations of pumpkin flavor are usually so disappointing in a myriad of ways!

Pumpkin “flavor” tends to be cloying and overpowering, unlike the personality of most pumpkins. It’s either pumpkin FEVER where you can’t taste anything else, or it’s dusty pumpkin or it’s non-starter pumpkin, where you’re not sure what it is… but it isn’t pumpkin.

Thus, when I brought the product to CraftNight and spilled its contents into a bowl, I was ready for the outrage. But funnily enough, there was no outrage, but there were raised eyebrows. Here are some of the reactions I got:

  • Layers of flavors!
  • I feel like I’ve arrived at Fall!
  • Not bad.
  • Can I have a few more? Mmmmm!

If you’re looking for “pumpkin in your face” you’re not going to find it here. It’s like they somehow knew that last year’s white chocolate candy corn M&Ms were too far into the stratosphere to really be understood. Somehow we have a candy that shows restraint. When you try it, there are multiple avenues for your mind to visit as they melt in your mouth. There’s pumpkin… but there’s also cinnamon, obscure hints of other spices, and mostly chocolate. And I think it’s a good idea that they are chocolate, and that M&Ms stayed away from the white chocolate for this one. Not every new flavor has to make you do a backflip and a fist pump, some flavors can just be mellow and complex. In the world of artificial flavors, it seems like they never know when to ease up on the throttle, and this time somebody decided to mellow out.

Anyone who grew up eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos will not understand or be able to comprehend the subtleties of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. They will think that Pumpkin Spice M&Ms are a penultimate experience, because their taste buds are dead. They will shrug their shoulders and walk away. They will feel like the illustration of the bewildered pumpkin M&M on the bag.

People are all up in arms arguing that these things taste more like red hots than pumpkins… and as a person who dislikes red hots pretty vehemently, they don’t taste like red hots. But they don’t overwhelm you with orange squash flavor either. There are three colors in the bag: Dark Brown, Orange and Dark Green, a hilariously awful set of colors, it’s like they’re trying to convince children to stay away from them. Even sports teams don’t go near this trio of colors! I’m sure that ©Mars had 19,000 focus groups before they developed these, I’m thinking it’s a small miracle this product ended up on the shelves.

This pumpkin idea is trying to get distinguished, it wants to be respected and well-received. It’s reaching out to people who like potpourri and crisp air and scented candles. It’s for square metal candy bowls in offices,  and houses with a lot of square footage and reflective surfaces. Kids will think they are boring. Eating these and liking them might mean you are over 30. It might even mean that you are retired.  If you have just ONE, and wait for it to melt in your mouth for 10 seconds, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Sep 212012
 

Seen Here: Organic Canned Pumpkin, Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix, Pumpkin Bread and (NEW!) Pumpkin Soup! Photo taken by Lori Meeker

The pumpkins are coming the pumpkins are coming!

No wait… the pumpkins are HERE! On Saturday, September 22, at 10:49am it will officially be Autumn! Our hours of daylight shall ever so sneakily begin to recede, and you will start to sense the cinnamon and clove scents in the air from the crazy “fall mania” that hits stores this weekend.
Leading the pack with a delicious assortment of fall pumpkin items is Trader Joe’s! No, they didn’t pay me to write this, it’s just great that you can go somewhere that won’t cost an arm and a leg to get yourself some easy-to-make pumpkin treats for all your equinox needs. It is absolutely NO JOKE that I went to a fancy culinary website to see how much their lil’ bag of pumpkin bread mix costs and almost lost my mind that it is a whopping $21.00. Who is fool enough to buy pumpkin bread that costs TWENTY ONE CLAMS?!?

I don’t care how many “roasted Texan pecans” are in the bag, that’s a hell of a return when you consider that Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread is only $2.99 and even if you purchase pecans separately at TJ’s you’re not going to get anywhere near $21.00!!!

Takes my breath away, land o’ goshen the times we live in, they’d sell you your eyeballs to you right out of your own head if you let them! Shop smart, dear consumer!
Anyway, stock your pantry this fall, get into your cords and dust off your light jacket, time to go a hunting for classic fall flavors like nutmeg, allspice and hot apple cider.

Sep 102012
 

According to Frank Woo, International Handsome Man of Mystery, CraftNight Crafter and Starbucks employee extraordinaire, your pumpkin-flavored sipping experience has officially arrived! 

Technically, it’s not Fall until September 22nd, but if you’ve just got to have the taste of nutmeg and clove and spicy sassy pumpkin that sets the scene for “October’s Bright Blue Weather” you can get started right this very minute without an iota of hesitation. I believe you can also get it in Frappé form, AND salted caramel mochas are also available.

Matter of fact, I dare you to get some Candy Corn Oreos and wash them down with a pumpkin spice latté and see if your glycemic index forces each of your teeth to hum in four-part harmony. It’s an indecent request, but worth trying, in the interest in order to live a rich, full life, especially if you survive.

Thanks Frank!