Monday, October 21, 2019

Want to Pavlov-Yourself into Hating Skittles?

Rotten Zombie Skittles 
I've been putting a lot of overtime and odd-hours in at work, and it's left me feeling like the "Working Dead." (A must-listen for anyone working a 9-5.) Long story short, I may not be an actual zombie, but I certainly feel like one, so it's the perfect time to give these Rotten Zombie Skittles a try. (Against my better judgement.)   
My first impression of this item is that it's a lot of fun. Instead of using only spooky colors (like Sour Patch Kids), or re-releasing the same ol' product in spooky shapes (like Reese's), or even just changing the wrapping to a Halloween theme (like m&m's), Skittles' seasonal offering actually tries to put the "trick" back into "trick or treat." 
As a Halloween enthusiast, and food blogger I have to point out that the concept is certainly not original. Skittles took the Beanboozled concept, gave it a Halloween-themed coat of paint, and offered it in shareable portions as well as snack-sized Halloween giveaway baggies. But is giving away trickster, potentially inedible, candy for Trick or Treaters a good idea? I guess it all depends on how rotten this flavor truly is...it's time to find out.
Inside the bag are several different colors and favors of Skittles: Blood Red Berry, Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Chilling Black Cherry, Boogeyman Blackberry.
Recent Skittle mixes have been pretty lazy. It's mainly re-named repeats from previous mixes with a new flavor tossed in to keep things interesting, but this time around the majority of these flavors are new. Blackberry is from America mix and the Black Cherry is in the Darkside mix replacing pomegranate, but the other three don't have direct correlations to previous flavors. (I suspect melon might be a recycled melon berry, and red berry could be another America repeat, but I'm not entirely sure...) Time to give these new flavors a shot, but hidden beneath these candy shells (potentially) lies something sinister. 
They all look alike, so I tried the sniff test, to see if the zombie flavored candies could be detected via their smell. But, unless you smash the shell to get the the insides (which is cheating) there doesn't seem to be any detectable difference.   
 
Blood Red Berry (red) - Oddly bubblegum-y, almost like the chewing gum center of a cherry flavored Blow pop. It's slightly tangy, but not all that fruity. It's probably the weakest flavor in the bunch, but it does add some variety so I'm happy it's there.
Petrifying Citrus Punch (orange) - Ooh, okay. This started out tasting like classic Skittles orange but quickly changed to a sweeter more syrupy citrus fruit, more like mandarins, but the artificial sweetness of it all is reminiscent of Ecto-Cooler and I am 100% into it! The finish is a little Flintstones vitamin-y, but it's mild enough to ignore. I'll forgive it, this time. 
Mummified Melon (green) - Another super fake artificial flavoring that reminds me of sour waternelon slices with 50% less pucker power. Again, a yummy flavor, but now I'm fairly certain this is another repeat of watermelon from a previous mix, like the green watermelon from the Brightside mix. Tasty, but that makes this mix officially more repeats than new flavors which bums me out a little.  
Chilling Black Cherry (purple)- A little tart and tangy with a strong almost almond extract flavoring. I liked these a LOT, but I am a huge fan of black cherry things even when they're terribly artificial.  
Boogeyman Blackberry (blue) - Tastes sweet and very artificial, it's more blue Sweet-tart than anything else. Generic, sweet, and definitely tastes like blue.   
 
Wow, I made it through the taste testing round un-zombie'd. I figure my best bet of finding one is to stick to just one flavor and keep eating them until I find one. I'll go with black cherry, since it's the best and see what happens.
One down, still good.
Two, still no zombies here.  
Three...OH GOD.
There it is. I wouldn't say this tastes like "Rotten Zombie," and as someone whose tried the worst Beanboozled flavors, it's no-where near as bad as flavors like Moldy Cheese or Rotten egg. The best thing I can liken it to is Sour Cream and Onion potato chips, in jelly bean form. It's not completely disgusting, but it's certainly bizarre and if you were expecting a delicious flavor you'll definitely be thrown for a loop. Imagine, sugary sour cream and onion chips mashed up into your molars so there is no escaping it.    
Did it make me want to vomit? No. Did it make me a little leery to continue eating my beloved black cherry-flavored Skittles? It really did! I felt a slight aversion to eating the rest of these candies after finding my first Zombie! Which is hilarious, but worrisome from a marketing standpoint. You don't want customers to Pavlov-themselves into avoiding Skittles. 
This is for kids, who bounce back easily, and Halloween-obsessed nerds like me. Normal candy eaters I have shared this with said that this nearly ruined Skittles for them entirely. Personally, I don't think the zombies ones taste -THAT- bad, but I willingly ate rotten egg jelly beans without needing to be Beanboozled into it, so my bar for "inedible" is pretty high... 
That being said, I love that I got to try these, but one bag is more than enough for me. The candy-devil on my shoulder is telling me to get the mini sized bags to give away on Halloween, but I'm not sure how well that would be received. Would YOU want these in your candy bucket/pillowcase?  
Fans of these would also like: Beanboozled, Bertie Botts, Zombie food, and Halloween Hamburgers that make you poop paint! 
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