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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Archer Farms Cinnamon Vanilla Nut Coffee

At the beginning of every coffee review I do, I feel the need to insert a disclaimer that I'm not much of a coffee expert, because I'm not. I've never been "a coffee guy." But I'm hoping there's some value in my opinion since I've tried and shared my thoughts about a number of Archer Farms coffee products, including the Vanilla Caramel Latte and Candy Cane Coffee. Hopefully Target won't discontinue all of their coffees the way they did their yogurt line after I unofficially crowned myself the world's leading expert on Archer Farms yogurts. (For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, I use that lofty title in the MOST tongue-in-cheek manner possible).

There was just a bit more bitterness in this coffee than I would have liked. But
I always want my coffee to taste like candy, especially when it has a dessert-like name like this one does. There are subtle hints of cinnamon and vanilla, and perhaps a smidge more than a hint of nuttiness. It's a light roast, so the overall flavor is fairly mild.

Another way I measure the success of a coffee is how much sugar and cream I have to put in it to make it palatable to my kid-like tongue. This flavor required very little of both, and thus, I'll go ahead and declare it a success in that department. My wife enjoyed it, too.

So I'll give it 7 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Archer Farms Spicy Korean-Style Barbecue Chips

These are very similar to the previously-reviewed Sweet & Spicy Chips. There's just a very subtle difference between the two sets of seasonings. I suppose these do taste more...Asian than the Sweet & Spicy dealies, although these could also be described as "spicy and sweet."

These chips have rice flour and a couple of soy-based ingredients, which I guess pushes them in the direction of a Korean BBQ flavor. They certainly don't taste like freshly-seared bulgogi or ribs, but they're not bad for what they are. They flaunt a similar texture to the aforementioned Sweet and Spicy Chips or even the Garden Vegetable Ranch kettle-style chips. They're extremely crispy.

I think if you're looking for a spicy kettle chip, the Sriracha variety is the way to go. But if you want something with less heat, but that still has some kick and a nice bit of tang, these are a viable alternative. Anything's better than the Rib Chips, which I believe, thankfully, have been discontinued. Since those awful things, I haven't been terribly disappointed with any Archer Farms offerings in the chip department. You really can't go wrong in that aisle these days.

Leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or have anything to add! Also let me know what to review next! Anything expensive you've seen there in your Target's freezer that you've been scared to try? Let me know! Holla' at me, my fellow Archer Farms fans!

I give these chips 7 out of 10 stars.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Archer Farms Corn, Black Bean & Roasted Pepper Salsa

I'd call this salsa "medium-mild" rather than "medium," but then I am a spice-lover. And I had better be, because my wife's family is from Mexico. And they like it SPICY.

Not just for the sake of the heat, but for the extra flavor. And as far as spice-related flavor goes, that's not really this product's strong suit. This product's strength lies in its true chunkiness. It has whole corn kernels galore, whole black beans, and lots of diced tomatoes, chiles, and peppers. I have tasted more flavorful corn and bean salsas, but the difference was probably due more to the spiciness of the liquid than the chunks of food within it.

I mentioned in my last review that the Blue Corn and Flax Seed Tortilla Chips kind of overshadowed this salsa. I'll stand by that claim, but I'd like to add that with a slightly more docile chip, such as the blue corn tortilla chips sans the flax seeds, this salsa does what it's supposed to do a bit better. It adds complexity, body, and flavor to an otherwise boring snack.

I only saw the "medium" variety of this salsa in the aisle, but next time, I'll have to try one of the "hot" ones. Both to test my limits and to see if it's actually hot. (If I can handle it without my eyes watering a little, then it's not really that hot).

Will I buy this product again? Probably. I know from experience that Archer Farms has some decent sweet salsas (mango, pineapple, etc) so I'll probably try them again to refresh my memory. And I've got to see how hot their hot stuff can really get. After I've completed those tasks, I might return to this truly chunky salsa. It's salsa that eats like cold soup that eats like a meal. That's me riffing off of Campbell's Chunky slogan. And they wonder why I've never been paid well as a copywriter.

"Archer Farms salsas: Salsa that eats like cold soup that eats like a meal."

It's good enough for 8 out of 10 stars.

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