Monday, December 22, 2008

Chocolate and Chex Don't Mix

Everybody wants in on chocolate. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes this is bad.

And remember that crazy USA Today poll about holiday snacking where vegetables scored higher than chocolate? Well, the chocolate section at Target was wiped out yesterday. The veggie bin at the grocery store still looked pretty full. Liars.

I also did a little research. Christmas is a BIG chocolate selling season. Candy sales are higher at Christmas than at HALLOWEEN! Do you think vegetable sales hit a peak at Christmas? That poll is such BS.

Ahem. Anyway, Chex Mix has totally jumped on the chocolate bandwagon with these four flavors:

Dark Chocolate is described by Chex as "the great taste of chocolate with Chex cereal, pretzels and chocolate cookies to bring you the perfect sweet and salty snack." It's not bad, but eat any piece in isolation and it's mediocre at best. I've had way better chocolate covered pretzels and much better chocolate cookies. Not enough salty here for me. I would rather have regular Chex mix and get better chocolate elsewhere. But it might be a fun novelty for a New Year's or Superbowl Party.

Okay, Chex' descriptions are weak. They describe Chocolate Turtle as "combining the great taste of chocolate with Chex pretzels and nuts to bring you the perfect sweet and salty snack!" Uh-oh - I thought Dark Chocolate Chex was the perfect sweet and salty snack! This is so very boring sales copy. If I worked for Chex, heads would roll!

Um, I would think it would be important to mention the popcorn? To me the popcorn is a real addition to Chex and a major ingredient. Hello?? The problem with this one is that all the chocolate candy pieces run to the bottom with all the peanuts. So you have to really try and shake up the bag and pulverize the cereal to get everything distributed evenly. This was kind of bland to me. I prefer caramel corn or maybe trail mix. I liked this better than the dark chocolate, but again, I think you can find better versions of all the ingredients. Not very chocolaty at all.

Now this is the one I've been waiting for!!!! Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex! Chex describes this EXACTLY the same as the Turtle Chex. That's pathetic. And I have to say, so is Chex Chocolate Peanut Butter. Bland, weak, not even as good as Turtle. Some of the cereal in Turtle is coated with caramel which is really good. I think this one would work better without the pretzels - they seem to overpower the too subtle peanut butter taste of the cereal. Such a good idea, but such a weak snack. What a tease. Was Jane Fonda involved here?
This isn't bad - the caramel saves it. But it's not very filling - no pretzels or peanuts - I'd rather have something else for 100 calories.

I think if you really like Chex cereal you might really like these. I find Chex bland and boring, so all these seem bland and boring to me. I like Chex mix because of the salt and seasoning - these not so much.

But I am not going to leave you without an alternative! These babies rock the house!!!

These are from I discovered them because they have a store by the M & M and Hershey stores on Times Square. I was drawn to the popcorn sign like a moth to a flame. Here's how they describe the Chocolate Chunk N'Caramel: A rich and sensuous combination of our finest, gourmet, fresh-popped corn, topped with buttery caramel and drizzled with deep, chocolaty indulgence. " (Take that, Chex!) The bag goes on to brag that they have the world's first Popcorn Chef - "Chef Ed graduated from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, where he mastered flavor combinations and creative cuisine. All the while he couldn't stop thinking about his secret obsession: Popcorn, the Delicacy." How great is that?

(I don't think there's a Chef doing anything at Chex. Except maybe contemplating suicide.)

The ingredient list sheds a little light on why this stuff is so good - the number one ingredient is caramel, number two is chocolate. Popcorn, the Delicacy, is third! This is no low calorie snack, mind you, but it is mighty good!

Oh my - these are all but impossible to stop eating. Chef Ed is quoted on the bag, "I take individual kernels of freshly popped Dale's Caramel Popcorn and dip it in rich, creamy milk chocolate for a salty sweet flavor that can't be beat." Not by Chex , that's for damn sure. He also recommends trying them frozen. I just put a bag in the freezer. When Chef Ed speaks, I listen.

Chex, you want the perfect sweet and salty snack for chocolate lovers - this is it! Give up your lame attempts and back away from the chocolate.

Christmas Eve Special - PEANUT BUTTER!!!!


Heidi said...

Aw, too bad. That Chex Mix looked so promising. But I'm glad you reviewed it for us! Now I don't have to waste my money on an impulse buy.

Michelle W. said...

I LOVE Dale and Thomas Popcorn! You are so right when you say they rock. I got a free sampler pack sometime last year. It was the best popcorn I've ever had. I now get their catalog. I saw their store in Times Square as well. I thought it would be safer to my wallet if I didn't go in, HA!

I've tried a Chex Mix Chocolate somethingorother snack bar - another free sample! It was...interesting. Not good, not bad, a little odd. I wouldn't spend money on them.

Denise Ryan said...

Hey Michelle! Thanks for the back up!!! That stuff is great, isn't it? You had much better disciplne than I! (I may have some for you when you get back to RDU!)

Mike said...

Hey sorry, BUT I have to be honest you know we all have different taste. I was on my way to Shaw AFB last week and didn't want to lose time by stopping to eat so I stopped at a small store to get something to curb my hunger. I was scanning the snacks when I saw chocolate chex mix WOW!!! I had to try it! Sorry again but like I said we all have different taste maybe it was because I was starving but I loved it!!

Jonny G said...

Denise, this is weird-I'm not even a chocolate person, yet these look GOOD.

I'm confused. The world no longer makes sense. Maybe it's the salty factor that makes them appealing, despite your review?


Denise Ryan said...

Jonny - you gotta try 'em - see what you think. But you gotta also try those Popsters - they are awesome!!! The Turtle Chex Mix was the best. But hey - they are making millions! Who I am to dis?

Anonymous said...

Where do you get the Chocolate and Caramel ones?

Denise Ryan said...

Hi Anonymous! I found them at Target - I don't why know, but Traget seems to have some things that other places don't carry. hope you can find them! And thanks for reading!