Below: Five of this year’s hottest holiday junk foods, from punny M&M’s to THE BEST POSSIBLE SLURPEE.
Nutmeg & Cinnamon Triscuit!
I love Triscuits but I hate writing about them, because deep down I know that you shouldn’t pluralize them that way. If I want to refer to several Triscuit crackers, I have to do it just like that: Triscuit crackers. That’s so annoying. We’re calling them Triscuits.
These are good, but mostly in a “they taste enough like regular Triscuits for the love to keep piercing” sort of way. Call me a Scrooge, but I believe Triscuits should always be predominantly savory. These taste like normal Triscuits made babies with Cinnamon Chex, and like, I don’t want to think about Triscuits fucking.
But maybe I’m missing the point. Thanks to their cinnamonness (even less of a word than “Triscuits”), the crackers pair well with many things that normal Triscuits struggle with, like apple slices and steaming gobs of yams.
GRADE: B, which stands for Because They’re Christmas Triscuits And That’s Enough.
Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal!
I found the cereal “inoffensive bordering on pleasant,” so I guess I’m not due for any Quaker Oats pull quotes. I mean, I liked it, but what I liked most about it was that I didn’t not like it. Does that make sense?
The gingerbread flavor is present but quiet, like me at a party I attend for ten minutes before feigning illness and rushing home in tears that come from nowhere.
The cereal is somehow spicier and more muted than Cinnamon Chex, which is frustrating until you realize that you get to call it “paradoxical.” Let me tell you, calling cereal paradoxical is funnnnn.
GRADE: A-. The flavor alone gets a B, but that amazing box lifts the grade. Gingerbread people making snow angels in powdered sugar is just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. (Unless that’s flour? I guess it’d still be an A- even if it was.)
Swiss Miss Candy Cane Hot Cocoa!
This probably isn’t new-for-2017, but it’s new-for-me. I was super impressed! It doesn’t look nearly as pretty as advertised, but the taste is exactly what you want it to be: Like they melted baby candy canes into cups of regular hot chocolate.
The candy cane and chocolate flavors somehow feel separate from one another, almost in that “peanut butter and chocolate” way. They complement each other well, and this stuff tastes as Christmassy as anything else I’ve devoured in 2017. Except maybe that fist-sized port wine cheese ball.
GRADE: A. Light on the sizzle but heavy on the steak, it’s just good.
Peanut Brrr-ittle M&Ms!
These are a knockout! I’ve seen mixed reviews floating around social media, but they pushed all of my favorite buttons:
1) Peanut brittle is an outside-the-box choice for a holiday flavor, but it makes perfect sense. If you’re going to eat peanut brittle, it’s gonna be during the Christmas season, when all of the drug stores put big tacky boxes of it next to the greeting cards.
2) If you ask for it by name or simply reference it in conversation, you get to say “Peanut BURRRRRittle.”
3) It smells like Starbucks and tastes like some kind of mocha-infused peanut butter that you’d normally only see in mason jars at farmers’ markets.
4) THEY’RE ALL RED AND GREEN!
GRADE: A+. It’s a generous grade, but you’re supposed to be generous during December. Besides, I think it was Sun Tzu who said that it’s always good to give when the giving cannot hurt you. Sun Tzu or one of the mobsters from Dick Tracy.
Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale Slurpee!
…and if you don’t think that I’m gonna give this an A+ too, you don’t know me at all.
Holy shit, I cannot BELIEVE that 7-Eleven made a CANADA DRY CRANBERRY GINGER ALE Slurpee!
I adore that soda, but I never would’ve pegged it for the Slurpee treatment. It seems too fancy and retro for 7-Eleven, which usually leans on neon and shouty things. Bless them for playing to those of us who enjoy musical snow globes and Betty Crocker cookbooks.
7-Eleven nailed the flavor, too. It tastes exactly like the soda — tart without being too tart, sweet without being too sweet. And that color! It’s red without being too red. Basically everything about this Slurpee was run through a single-band compressor.
GRADE: A+. Keep in mind that this flavor is tough to track down, and as of yet isn’t even mentioned on the official Slurpee website. If you spot a machine that has it, do not wait until next time.
Thanks for reading about festive garbage food. Have a wonderful winter weekend even though it’s fall.