Thursday, May 10, 2012

Go Picnic, Part 2: Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese

A few months ago, I spotted a line of ready to eat meals called Go Picnic on Amazon. I immediately added them to my Amazon wish list, because they sounded so tasty. I bought two varieties of Go Picnic after spotting them at a chain drugstore today. Because it's so picture heavy, I'm breaking this review up into two posts:

Part 1: Peanut Butter and Crackers: All Natural Meal

Part 2:
Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese: Classic Deli Meal
"A balanced meal featuring Bridgford Turkey Pepperoni Slices, Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers, Copper Cowbell Asiago Gourmet Cheese Spread, Mariani Dried Cranberries & Pineapple and Brown & Haley Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffee. Gluten Free."

"Just when you thought your hunger would win"
This turned out to be unintentional irony. Keep reading.

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers
"Crunchy oven-baked 100% whole grain crackers. Crispy and delightful"

The Crunchmaster crackers were glossy and had a great sesame taste. The ingredient list included sesame seeds, flax seeds, quinoa seeds and amaranth seeds. I would buy these crackers.

Mariani Dried Cranberries & Pineapple
"Great benefits never tasted so good. Only the best cranberries and pineapple make up this mix."

I love dried fruit. Normally I could eat it by the handful. The Marianu fruit, however, is another story. The dried pineapple had a ridiculous amount of powdered sugar coating it. Plus it bordered on being crunchy. And I mean in an overly sugared way, not as in stale. The pineapple had a very unpleasant as a result. The dried cranberries were not as coated in powdered sugar, so the natural cranberry flavor was able to shine through better. The cranberries were still kind of crunch, unfortunately. On a side note: I have had Mariani fruit in the past and it never tasted sugary and crunchy. I'm not sure what happened with this product.

Copper Cowbell Asiago Gourmet Cheese Spread
"A smooth, rich gourmet cheese spread with classic Asiago flavor from Copper Cowbell, GoPicnic's exclusive brand."

The asiago cheese was super shiny. Some of the ingredients included cheddar, water, cream, milk, whey, natural flavor and cheese cultures. It tasted and smelled like an oily paste made from parmesan. You know it's pretty bad when I won't finish off a sample of cheese.

Brown & Haley Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffee Candy
"Delicious buttercrunch toffee. A true original!"

The Almond Roca came in a pink outer wrapper and an inner gold foil wrapper. The inside tasted like a too chewy mix between a Butterfinger and toffee. The outside was coated in chocolate and almonds. I didn't care for that part. Plus there wasn't enough chocolate. The Roca was greasy and not tasty to me. Wikipedia tells me it's been around since 1923, so I guess a lot of other people enjoy it. It definitely is not my cup of tea : P

Bridgford Turkey Pepperoni Slices
"With 65% less fat than regular pepperoni but all of the flavor."

This is the turkey pepperoni, plus a popsicle stick to scoop up the asiago cheese. I really, really hated the pepperoni. As you can tell, it is extremely greasy. It's actually greasier than regular pepperoni I've bought. And yes, it's more so than regular pepperoni straight out of the package and regular pepperoni that's been baked in the oven. It's that oily. The Turkey Pepperoni didn't even taste like pepperoni. It was more like someone combined beef jerky fat and cheese fat, rolled them out into slices and then dipped them into grease : X Absolutely disgusting. The pepperoni packet had no tear strip and was hard to open. I had to look for scissors to get it open. Which is problem for those of us that thought "Oh hey, I can take this meal on a plane and have a fun snack." Between that and the grease it leaves on your fingers, this variety is definitely not a travel friendly snack.

Allergen Details
-Multi-seed Crackers: Contains: soy.
-Asiago Cheese Spread: Contains: milk.
-Dried Cranberries & Pineapple: This product is packed on equipment that also packages products that contain milk, soy and tree nuts.
-Buttercrunch Toffee: Contains: tree nuts, milk products and soy. Manufactured on shared equipment that processes peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat.
-Note: All items are individually wrapped and are manufactured and packaged in separate facilities.

The only part of the Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese: Classic Deli Meal I liked was the Crunchmaster Crackers. My rating for this variety is a D. Even excluding the Almond Roca (which some people obviously like), it was an unsatisfying meal that I could not finish. The dried fruit needs less powdered sugar. The pepperoni is too greasy and difficult to open. The cheese needs a more natural flavor. Like I said in the previous review, this is still room for improvement.

Go Picnic, Part 1: Peanut Butter and Crackers

A few months ago, I spotted a line of ready to eat meals called Go Picnic
on Amazon. I immediately added them to my Amazon wish list, because they sounded so tasty. I bought two varieties of Go Picnic after spotting them at a chain drugstore today. Because it's so picture heavy, I'm breaking this review up into two posts:

Part 2: Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese: Classic Deli Meal

Part 1:

Peanut Butter + Crackers: All-Natural Meal
"A balanced meal featuring Peanut Butter & Co. Natural Peanut Butter, Partners Get Movin' Honey Wheat Crackers, Sweet Perry Orchards Unsweetened Applesauce, Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunny Crackers and Professor Zim Zam's All-Natural Jelly Jets. All-Natural."

A pull tab that allows the box to fold out into a lunch tray

Here is the box as a lunch tray

Partners Get Movin' Honey Wheat Crackers
"Made exclusively from simple, delicious, wholesome ingredients."

The honey wheat crackers were thick rectangle crackers dotted with salt.The flavor was a cross between graham crackers and sesame crackers. They were wheaty and buttery. I enjoyed the Get Movin' crackers very much. The package was difficult to open, though.

Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies
"All-natural baked snack crackers made of organic wheat and in clever bunny shapes."

The Cheddar Bunnies were definitely easier to open than the Get Movin' crackers. Although why would you want two different cracker packages for one meal ? Kind of redundant. That aside, the bunnies were just the right size for a snack. The Cheddar Bunnies tasted exactly like Cheese Nips, so I'd probably only choose one over the other based on price and sodium content.

Professor Zim Zam's All-Natural Jelly Jets
"Jelly Jets, the chewy delights will alight your tongue in a variety of fantastic all-natural colors and fruit flavors."

The packet of Professor Zim Zam's All-Natural Jelly Jets contained eight pieces of gummy candy. Each candy was supposed to be shaped like a jet, although I think they resemble sharks or arrows. There were two orange gummies, two lemon (yellow), three strawberry (red) and one apple gummy (green). The orange pieces had a very natural, juicy citrus flavor. The lemon tasted like lemon lollipops mixed with Pledge. The strawberries had a super weak fruit punch flavor. The apple gummy had a faint green apple taste. The Jelly Jets were overly chewy.

Sweet Perry Orchards Unsweetened Applesauce
"Simple and pure ingredients: apples, water and natural flavors. A convenient way to get a full serving of fruit anywhere you go. A GoPicnic exclusive!"

The label on the apple sauce cup says the ingredients are apples, water, natural flavor and asorbic acid (to maintain flavor). If you're eating right now, you'll want to skip this next line of the review: The applesauce was downright horrible. It was like someone added the flavors of juice, watered down cinnamon and vomit into the applesauce. Yuck! (None of those are listed or implied ingredients, before anyone fusses at me.) I have never tasted bad applesauce before. I hope that is the last time it ever happens.

Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator Natural Peanut Butter
"No-stir natural peanut butter in a convenient squeeze pouch for easy distribution!"

Over the last year, I had seen various flavors of Peanut Butter and Co. mini packets at the grocery store (plain peanut butter, white chocolate, dark chocolate, etc). I had seen Peanut Butter and Co.'s restaurant on the Food Network a couple times. I thought I would really enjoy this peanut butter. It didn't quite work out that way. When I opened the peanut butter packet, a murky, semi-clear liquid (oil, I assume ?) squirted out from the top. It's a good thing I was at home wearing black shorts and not on an airplane in khaki pants, or I would have been very upset. So I held the packet over the cardboard box the subsequent times I tried to get peanut butter out. And still the oil or whatever it was kept coming out. Eventually I did get a better amount of peanut butter coming out. The peanut butter had a nice fresh, roasted flavor. If you ignore how much liquid preceded it : P Yeah, I know one of you is thinking "product may separate during shipping, blah blah blah." I think I'll stick with the Jif To Go mini cups of peanut butter, thank you very much.

Each box has a game and some fun facts inside.

"In a world where bunnies are the size of planes...anything is possible"

I have no idea what that means. It probably doesn't refer to the movie The Night Of The Lepus, although that would be pretty cool if it did.

Allergen Details
-Natural Peanut Butter: Contains: peanuts.
-Honey Wheat Crackers: Contains: wheat and milk. Manufactured on shared equipment with nuts, corn and sesame seeds.
-Cheddar Bunny Crackers: Contains: wheat and milk. Made on shared equipment that also processes egg and soy.
-Gummy Airplanes: Contains: wheat starch.
-Note: All items are individually wrapped and are manufactured and packaged in separate facilities.

Overall opinion of Peanut Butter + Crackers: All-Natural Meal: I give it a C-. The peanut butter needs to be less liquidy. The gummies were too chewy (and quite frankly a choking hazard if you share with kids). The apple sauce was dreadful. Both cracker varieties were delicious, but I suggest paring it down to one pack of crackers + one non-cracker item. This meal kit is not entirely hopeless, though, as there is still room to change. Hopefully that happens soon.

Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop Tarts

Received this in my email:

Limited Edition Vanilla I-Scream Cone

"Vanilla ice cream-flavored filling surrounded by a waffle cone-flavored crust, topped with chocolatey icing and rainbow sprinkles. Freeze 'em and you'll be screamin' for more."

Pop Tarts website