Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Taste The Travel - Internationally Inspired m&m's

Internationally Inspired m&m's  - Walgreens $1.11 each
The most interesting thing about these new flavors is their lack of uniqueness. I'm getting flashbacks to the Chili Nut, Coffee Nut, and Honey Nut m&m's that were released back in ...2016?! Wow, it honestly feels like that was just last year, but (apparently) it's been a while.
Here we are again, in 2019, with a new trio of flavors to vote for, but are they really that "new?" Mexican Jalapeno is a call back to 2016's Chili Nut, We've had Coconut m&m's back in 2012, and Toffee? Okay, I'll admit, that one is pretty "new," but if it turns out that this is just caramel-flavored (which I suspect it is) we've already seen that before as well. 
So, will anything here impress me?
Visually, the bags aren't much to talk about, but those candies tho! Look how saturated these colors are! The Mexican Jalapeno flavor mimics the colors of bell peppers, but also, the Mexican flag. (A nice touch.) While the Thai Coconut evokes a tropical get-away thanks to it's bright lime-green, creamy off-white, and deep sapphire hues. Then there's English Toffee...which is pretty very "blah." It looks like it's namesake, but it's not exactly camera-ready. Hopefully they'll taste more impressive than they look. 
English Toffee (tan bag) -  The toffee flavoring is more sugar-free caramel coffee syrup than authentic toffee. Thankfully the added peanut gives this a slight Cracker Jack feel and prevents it from being too cloying, but there is an aftertaste that seemingly lasts forever. Even in this small, supposedly shareable, size, this is way more than I care to eat. My fiance thought these were okay, but both he and I prefer the vastly superior caramel-filled version, and we'd love to see a version of that with peanuts.
Mexican Jalapeno (green bag) -  The counterpart to 2016's Chili-Nut, this flavor is very interesting. We have the same sweet chocolate base, same savory peanut inclusion, but this time around there is a distinct jalapeno pepper flavoring alongside the build-able heat. If memory serves, this flavor is bolder and a bit spicier than the 2016 offering. It's not spicy enough to send you running for milk, but it builds to a decent medium-level-heat that hits you in the back of the throat. I think I prefer the Chili-Nut version they released last year, which had more of a cayenne flavor. Yet, the more I eat, the more I like these jalapeno flavored candies. Could these be my number one pick after all? (My fiance actually liked these a lot too and felt they were significantly spicier than Chili Nut.)
Thai Coconut (blue bag) - Sweet sugary chocolate, a crunchy peanut, and some authentic, creamy, coconut notes. The coconut flavoring leans more towards coconut milk than a sugary, confectionery, coconut, and it meshes nicely with the peanut inclusion giving this a successful Thai-inspired profile. Honestly, I didn't think this flavor would work as well as it does. I figured this would be the 2012 Coconut m&m's all over again, with an added peanut, but this is quite different and very well executed. These would make an interesting addition to the permanent line-up, thanks to their sweet and slightly savory profile, and there's really nothing else like it. (My fiance liked these the best and thought they were great for snacking.)
My final ranking: 
#1 Thai Coconut, #2 Mexican Jalapeno, #3 English Toffee 
It was a really close call between the jalapeno and the coconut candies, which are both delicious and visually appealing, but the versatility of the Thai inspired flavor is what won me over. These coconut m&m's would work nicely in baked goods, like cookies, and they'd be right at home in a salty, savory, snack mix. The jalapeno ones are held back, not due to their heat, but due to their authentic pepper-y flavoring. The slight vegetable notes, while impressive, might limit their use in baked goods and overall appeal to the masses, so in the end, I'm nuts for coconuts! (The only real loser here is toffee, it's a pity they didn't go with something truly unique, like a tea inspired flavor, but I guess the peanut was rather limiting.) What flavor would you like to win, and what flavors do you hope to see in the next contest? 
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1 comment:

  1. I think for the toffee flavor; they could had used honey roasted peanuts instead of regular peanuts.