Monday, July 31, 2017

Mike and Ike Sundae Sweets - Jo Ann Fabric

Mike and Ike Sundae Sweets - Jo Ann Fabric
Did you know chinchillas like fleece? Neither did I!

Well, not until this June, anyway. That's when my boyfriend's daughter graduated and we got her a cuddly little chinchilla all her own. He's her baby, but seemingly overnight we've turned into crazy chinchilla people.

Segues are hard

So I'm at JoAnn fabrics, buying a few yards of fleece (which is on sale) to use in a chinchilla litter box (you know, totally normal food-blogger stuff) and this colorful package catches my eye. It's a cute box, and I like Mike and Ikes, but I LOVE all things banana. I figured I owed it to myself to check this out.

Flash forward to today, when I saw the very same box, a few cents cheaper, at The Dollar Tree. Kind of kicking myself, since I could have gotten it cheaper, but maybe it'll taste so good that I won't care anymore? Fingers crossed!

The packaging is bright and colorful with designs on either side of the box. Both use the same illustrations and elements, the only difference is their orientation. One side is vertical, and the other, horizontal. Of the two, I greatly prefer the horizontal design, but something about this imagery just doesn't sit right with me. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the implied texture mixed with simplistic flat designs? I'm not sure what it is, but this box feels unfinished to me, even though I like the color choices and subject matter.

Inside the box are various, imperfectly shaped, Mike and Ike candies in 6 different flavors. I'll start with the bottom of our banana split and work my way up.
Banana (bright yellow) - It's almost like eating bananas foster, in candy form. There is a slight unripe banana tang, mixed with burnt sugar notes, and some artificial banana flavoring tossed in for good measure. It's interesting, and I like it, but the artificial tanginess can be a little overwhelming when eaten on it's own. It does mix very well with other flavors though. 

Vanilla Ice Cream (translucent white) - Sweet, and yet, flavorless at the same time. This tastes like white generic jelly beans and I am not a fan. I want to hurry up and eat something else...

Chocolate Fudge (brown) - Oh, oh no.When I was in high school I had a bunch of those novelty lip balms you could buy in places like Claires. You know the ones. Those things that claim to be Reeses and Tootsie Roll flavored, but when you put them on they smelled like rancid chocolate and candle wax. This tastes like those lip balms smelled. No, sir. I don't like it. So far the two ice cream-y flavors are flops and banana is the only star. Lets hope the next three flavors round out this mix, or else I'm going to be a sad panda
Crushed Pineapple (amber yellow) - This one started out as a sugary oasis. It's sweet, and a little tangy, like actual candied pineapple. It tastes fantastic, at first... but while you chew it the flavor fades away into nothingness rather quickly. You're left with that sugary paste-like white jelly bean flavoring again! It started out so promising, why doesn't the flavor last?

Caramel Drizzle (camel-tan color) - Not bad when mixed with the banana, but on it's own it reminds me of sugar free coffee syrup flavoring. It's okay, kind of like a more jelly-bean-like Sugar Baby. Not bad on it's own, but it really shines when mixed with the banana.

Cherry on Top (red) - I was really hoping this would be a maraschino-style cherry flavoring, something unique to this box, but it's not. This is the bright, powerful, almost medicinal, cherry flavoring found in other boxes of Mike and Ikes, and it serves as a lack-luster ending to a mediocre mix.

In the end, this Sundae mix wasn't the treat I had hoped for. The caramel and banana flavors are decent, and the pineapple has potential, but the rest of the flavors fall flat and are more of a chore for me to eat than a treat. And no one wants their candy to feel like a chore.

I'd like to see some of these flavors reworked and re-released in other boxes in the future, but with 2/6 flavors being edible, this mix should make like a banana and split.
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