Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

New year, new explorations of food. This will also be a year of experimentation with my blog. I want to go back to discussing more media-related stuff and bring in what I’ve learned from school. For now, let’s start 2019 with a review of another Japanese Kit-Kat.

Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

When I first heard of the  strawberry tiramisu Kit-Kat, I was intrigued. I’m a big fan of tiramisus and I wanted to see if Nestle could replicate the flavor in candy form. I was also interested in the the combination of tiramisu, a coffee-based Italian dessert, with strawberries.

Individual Kit-Kat

When I opened the bag, the strawberry smell was overpowering. I was almost concerned that this would be a strawberry Kit-Kat with no hint of coffee or anything. It didn’t help when I took a bite of the candy and just tasted strawberry.

Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

Inside of the Kit-Kat

The more bites I took, I started to taste the bitterness of the coffee that was sandwiched in the wafers. This created an….interesting contrasts with the sweet strawberry flavoring in the white chocolate. The flavors by themselves aren’t bad, but together they make a weird and not all that tasty combination.

Then again, I’ve never had fresh fruit in my tiramisu or with coffee in general. Maybe that’s one of those flavor combinations that rarely works.Overall, I give it a 2/5.

Advertisements

Is it just my imagination or is there no flavor? A review of Starbucks’ juniper latte.

It may not officially be Winter, but that’s not going to stop Christmas from busting on in. To get myself ready I decided to try Starbucks’ new drink, juniper latte.

One thing I want to note is that I had my latte made with almond milk so it’s possible the flavor may change depending on what kind milk or milk substitute you get.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First, it’s not remarkable looking. Granted, there’s only so much you can do to a latte so I have no feelings whatsoever about it. But if you wanted to do an Instagram post like the Unicorn frappuchino you’re out of luck. Take a picture of the cup and do #MerryChristmas. The only thing I saw that separated it from the regular latte were the green specks that I may have imagined being there. Let me know if you see them.

According to Starbucks, the Juniper latte is supposed to have a “light, pine-like flavor with delightful citrus undertones”. The only part of that description I agree about it is the “light” and “undertone” part because all I tasted was coffee and my heated up almond milk. There might have been a taste of a tree in there, but it could have been my imagination.

I wasn’t the only one who was underwhelmed by this latte. One guy found the latte not that great with the juniper taste and one lady found the taste to be too subtle. I like to note that we all went to different Starbucks in different areas so it looks like the juniper latte may be a dud.

Overall, I give a 3/5 for at least not tasting terrible. If you had the latte, let me know your thoughts in the comments. As for me, I’m sticking with my chestnut praline latte.

Return of the Kit-Kat

That’s right, it’s another review of Japanese Kit-Kats! Honestly, there are so many flavors to try that it could take me a while to get through them.

For today’s post I will be discussing another Kit-Kat inspired by the Chocolatory store that is exclusive to Japan. This flavor is called the matcha double berry and is under their “Luxury Every Day” line. I’ve already done a post about another of their flavors. You can find the stores and the products here.

The chocolate portion is made of matcha and has almonds, cranberries and raspberries embedded in the top. Unlike the other Kit-Kats, each bar comes individually wrapped like the ones from the Chocolatory, though a tad smaller. I bought a bag from a local Asian food store for around $6. While it may seem pricey compared to other Kit-Kats, you have to remember that these candies have to be imported from Japan.

So, how does it taste?

It’s definitely sweeter than the chocolate version that I had. It’s most likely from the raspberries that the chocolate version lacked. While I’m no stranger to matcha Kit-Kats, the dried berries and almond pieces on top add a sweetness and crunch to it. The pieces can stick to your teeth which can be annoying, but not enough to impede enjoyment.

Of the two Chocolatory candies, I definitely prefer the chocolate version to this one. While this double berry one wasn’t bad, it was a little too sweet to me. I think if they had left out the raspberries it would taste better. Otherwise, not too bad and I definitely recommend giving it a try.

Foodie Friday: Trentino Artisan Gelato

It may be Fall, but it still feels like Summer. That means it’s still frozen dessert weather (though I argue you can have ice cream any time you want). Before I move to warm drinks and apple flavored everything, I’m reviewing a new brand of gelato I had recently.

If you haven’t heard of Trentino Gelato, don’t worry. They’re a Houston-based company and from what I can find most of their products are sold in Texas.  What made the product stand out to me was that they used goat’s milk. As someone who’s not exactly tolerating the lactose like I did in the past I’ve been looking into goat’s milk as an alternative (I’ve already try almond milk based frozen dessert). And when I saw that my local store had a coupon I knew I had to try it (shout out to all my coupon lovers!)

First, the sweet milk. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what possessed me to get this flavor instead of something more recognizable like strawberry. The name alone intrigued me. Either way, I’m glad I bought this flavor.

I was pleased that the pops themselves weren’t too small. For comparison, I placed my 7″ x 3″ hand (why yes, I did measure my hand) by the pop. As for the flavor, it pretty much lives up to its name. It was definitely sweet and very creamy, but the sweetness wasn’t overpowering and I think that’s because of the goat’s milk. I give it a 4/5.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next, I purchased the Vanilla flavor.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ll be honest, I almost freaked out when I saw the black specks until I remembered that the specks were vanilla. After that rather embarrassing moment, I dug right into the pop.

I definitely rank the vanilla over the sweet milk flavor. Despite its reputation, vanilla has a very distinct flavor that when done right makes for an enjoyable experience and Trentino nails it. I recommend if you’re hesitant about trying these pops to go with the vanilla pop first. I give it a 4.5/5.

My only complaint, and it could be just me being cheap, is the price. Before the coupon, the gelato pops would sell for around $5 (I paid around $4). For three pops each, this could seem very steep. I would argue that since they are made of goat’s milk that the price is worth it. I also argue that it’s probably a better deal at roughly $2 per pop than going to a gelato or ice cream shop and spending $3 to $5 for a few scoops.

If you live in Texas or you’re visiting, I say give these pops a shot. They’re a nice, sweet treat and probably won’t be as harsh for those who are lactose intolerant.

 

JL’s Summer of Ice Cream (& Frozen Desserts)

As summer starts to wane down (somebody needs to tell the heat that!), one of the big joys of the season is enjoying some frozen treats. This summer, I decided to embark on a journey of trying different low-calorie ice creams (or in one case, frozen dessert) all while avoiding a brain freeze.

Let’s first talk about Halo Top. I’ve reviewed the Birthday Cake flavor in the past and decided I needed to explore more of their options. After trying five of their flavors, I’ve come to the conclusion that the higher the calories per pint, the more likely the ice cream will be tasty. The Red Velvet has one of the highest calories counts of the Halo Top line, but man, it was good. And adding brownie chunks was a good move.

Runner ups were the seasonal flavors, Blueberry Crumble and Peaches & Cream. While the Blueberry Crumble wasn’t filled with crumbles, the blueberry flavor more than made up for it. The Peaches and Cream fared better with the peach chunks adding a nice bit of tartness to the sweet cream.

The Cookies & Cream was disappointing. It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more chunks of cookies and got crumbs. It was so disappointing I went to an ice cream shop to get a proper cookies & cream ice cream. At least it tasted like cookies & cream which is more than I can say for their S’mores flavor which is currently my least favorite. I couldn’t really taste any marshmallow flavor and the chocolate and graham cracker crumbs were disappointing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let’s move on to Enlightened. I decided to try this brand when I saw they also had a cookies & cream flavor. Let me just say that their version is better than Halo Top’s and that’s because there were actual chunks of cookie. Still not to the level of a full-calorie version, but enough to leave me satisfied.

Afterwards, I bought the Cold Brew Coffee flavored one. This one was definitely my favorite. It had a nice coffee flavor while not being sickly sweet. Not sure why they named it after cold brew and not just call it coffee. Do people just prefer cold brew over hot and iced coffee?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lastly, the vegan option. I’ll be honest, I only got this ice cream because it was on clearance. I was skeptical of an ice cream using almond milk as the base. Thankfully, it was pretty good. One weird thing was the gummy texture. It wasn’t quite like eating a gummy bear, but it was there and it disrupted any illusion that I was eating ice cream. I still need to try the other alternatives.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What are your favorite flavors? Do you prefer store-bought, ice ream shops, or homemade? Let me know in the comments!

Review of Dr. Praeger’s All-American Burger

I finally bit the bullet and got this burger. For $3.79 for two patties, compared to our patties like their other offerings, I’ve been putting off buying this product. Fortunately, I caught it on sale at the store for $3 and decided it was time to put it to the test.

20180508_171938

Frozen patty

The first thing I noticed was that it was definitely bigger in size compared to the other Dr. Praeger patties. It also looks and smells the closest to an actual beef burger. No grill lines like the picture, but maybe I needed to use an actual grill. For this review, I decided to cook it in my toaster oven at 450° F. I picked this method because it seemed like the healthiest option and I have had past success with using the oven on their other patties. One thing to note is that the burger takes 17 minutes to cook all the way (9 minutes on one side and you flip it for the other 8 minutes) compared to the 12 minutes for the other patties.

20180508_174859

My assembled burger

How did it taste? First off, I wished I had an actual burger bun. Mostly because it seems to call for something more substantial. Even an English toast muffin would have been better. It reminded me of a falafel in terms of looks with a greenish-brown filling. The burger itself definitely has a meatier taste compared to the other patties, but doesn’t replicate the taste of beef. The exterior was very crunchy, though I blame myself for leaving it in the oven a bit longer (one of the perils of using an oven is forgetting about it!). One thing that separates it from the other patties I’ve had from the company is that it is very filling. I felt all 23 of those grams of protein!

Would I recommend it? For the price, it is more expensive compared to the other patties , but you’re getting a product that is getting close to an actual beef burger. I would also wager it would still cost less than getting getting a veggie burger at a restaurant. It’s also soy free so it’s definitely a great option for those averse or allergic to soy. As long as you don’t leave it in the oven too long, it should be good and even then I liked the crispiness of the burger. Overall, I give it a 3.5/5.

Dark Chocolate Japanese Kit Kats

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to review the dark chocolate Kit Kats from Japan. I’ve reviewed matcha, dark chocolate with pepper, but never plain dark chocolate. Especially since I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate (and definitely against white chocolate). Well, that ends today as I do a quickie review of this flavor of Kit Kat.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First things first, this flavor is not limited to Japan. In the U.S., Hershey (as I’ve mentioned before makes American Kit Kats) does have a dark chocolate version of the candy. Compared to the milk and white chocolate versions, I much prefer the dark chocolate version.

That being said, there is a difference in taste between Japan’s version and the one in the U.S. The U.S. version is pretty standard dark chocolate. No real “wow” factor, but it does its job. When I tasted the Japanese version, I was struck by the coffee flavor. This was odd seeing as how there’s no coffee anywhere in the ingredient list, but there was definitely something different in this Kit Kat that separated it from its American counterpart.

If you’re wondering which was better, you’ll be disappointed to hear me say that it depends on your personal taste. For me, the Japanese version edges out the American version, but barely. I’d recommend trying both to see which one fits your palate. Cost wise, you may want to stick with American version as it is cheaper and it’s no worse than the Japanese version.

Overall, I give the candy a 5/5.