Behold, some of 2016’s best Halloween junk food!
(Well, I don’t always mean “best.” Sometimes just “noteworthy.” I hope you can forgive me this trespass. “2016’s Most Noteworthy Halloween Junk Food” just sounded so clunky.)
This will be a multipart series, because my #1 goal each Halloween season is to eat everything and then spend November singing an a cappella version of Man in the Mirror whenever I take a shower.
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Bag of Bones!
THESE ARE PERFECT. Joining the Bag of Bones family is this all-new Flamin’ Hot version, which replaces the original’s bone white cheddar with fiery red death.
I might like this version even more. I get that the white cheddar Cheetos let us create more classically appropriate skeletons, but that’s kinda my point. Skeletons are spooky, but they have nothing on fleshy remains. With these, I feel like I’m creating the first acts for Hellraiser movies. They look so evil!
Plus, white cheddar Cheetos are good in theory and even good in practice, but they’re not so good when you’re on the couch and you have all day and you just don’t give a fuck. If I’m going to plow through fifty ounces of Cheetos, I don’t want it to feel like work. I want to do it obliviously and deal with the fallout later. I feel like I could do that with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Love this concept! New Cauldron Skittles present a bewitching blend of eerily-named flavors, like Petrified Pear and Bogey Berry. The color of the mix feels distinct (note that there are no reds), and it really captures the spirit of a cartoony witch’s brew. It looks like the sort of magic gunk that might morph into a demon frog. We’ll call him Ribbad.
Most of the flavors are pleasant in a benign sort of way, but I gotta give up it for those Bogey Berry Skittles. (Mercifully, they named the blue ones that instead of the expected green ones.) They have a sweet-but-sharp flavor that to me felt more on the level of Starburst candies. Course, they’re blue, so I’d pick them even if they tasted like dishwater.
GRADE: A-. (My heart says “A+,” but my brain knows that there’s still room for improvement. Black bags would help. And also maybe a witch mascot with a giant strawberry for a head. And then they can add rare black Skittles that only turn up once per bag. C’mon, Schwartz.
White BOO-tterscotch M&M’s!
I’m thrilled that M&M’s came up with another new Halloween flavor, but I wish they hadn’t picked one that I was guaranteed to dislike.
White Chocolate BOO-tterscotch M&M’s do not go light on the butterscotch. You’ll be overwhelmed by how butterscotchy they smell immediately upon opening the bag. The stink hits you like it’s made of granite. You don’t so much smell it as just try to weather it.
I don’t like butterscotch in general, so these M&M’s didn’t stand much of a chance. The flavor was just too reminiscent of fermented syrup for me to consider them as anything more than a distraction from problems far larger than iffy M&M flavors. But that ain’t hay either, I suppose.
Darkness Kit Kats!
Oh man, the name on these! Darkness! Just Darkness! Not Chocolate Darkness or Darkness Delights or any other bet-hedging bullshit. They’re just plain Darkness, and I love ‘em for that.
I am eating DARKNESS. My actions will inspire poems from the disaffected.
I’m not big on dark chocolate, but I think it’s accurate to say that these are dark chocolate in a milk chocolate kind of way, y’know? They create the illusion of exotica. And they crunch like particle board.
GRADE: A. I don’t prefer them to normal Kit Kats, but they couldn’t be more perfect for a Halloween release. I can’t wait to hand these out to trick-or-treaters. I don’t care if kids hate dark chocolate.
Scary Berry Ghoul-Aid Jammers!
So yeah, they changed Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid into Scary BERRY Ghoul-Aid. Criticizing the Kool-Aid Man makes me itchy, but he kinda screwed the pooch on this one.
The newly-blue Kool-Aid tastes nothing like Scary Blackberry, and it’s no improvement on it, either. Picture a half-melted store brand popsicle being run through a cheesecloth. Sure, this new Ghoul-Aid may have half the calories of the original, but at what cost?
Truth is, I don’t really care what it tastes like, and the color IS pretty fetching. My problem is that they’re still calling it Ghoul-Aid, complete with a slapdash packaging upgrade that couldn’t have taken more than five minutes. Imagine if they’d called it “Berry Boo” and had a witched-up Kool-Aid Man stirring his own head on the boxes. People like me wouldn’t be criticizing — we’d be getting fucking tattoos.
Grade: C. If this blue stuff is gonna be Kool-Aid’s new Halloween standard, I can live with that. But we’re gonna need a name change and new packaging. And a return of the Wacky Warehouse. And… pizza? Yes, let’s see if we can score a pizza out of this, too.