Thursday, November 19, 2009

CREAM CHEESE PEPPER BITES

I am not very picky about what I put in my mouth… Wait, that came out wrong. I am a rather adventurous eater (yes, that’s better). Aside from beer, gastronomy is one of my biggest passions. With that said, I am also very reluctant ingesting ANYTHING that comes from the Dollar Tree (or any other similar merchant). I am not entirely sure why, since I know that it can’t possibly be any worse than the street vendor tacos and hot-dogs I used to eat in Mexico or, for that matter, any weirder than bear meat chili, deer soup or the variety of bugs I’ve eaten disguised as delicacies.

Going against my common sense, I finally decided it was time to give the Dollar Tree’s frozen food section a try. And what better way than with one of my favorite snack-sized treats: Stuffed Jalapeños. I’ve had several variations of this Mexican/Southern Fried dish, finding, by far, Skyland Restaurant’s to be the best.

Today’s tasty treats come to us from Snapps Snacks and Appetizers in their Cream Cheese and Mild Jalapeno variety. For some odd reason their splash page welcomes the inquiring user with a pretty cool country-meets-Saturday-morning-cartoon (for those of us who remember those days) jingle. All I learned from the page was that SNAPPS is a compound of SNacks and APPetizers. As their page clearly states:

“SNAPPS™ are delicious, restaurant quality SNacks and APPetizers. The best ingredients...perfect flavor combinations, ready to serve hot from the oven.”



And that for some odd reason my box of fried gold came with 4.25 oz. of product when all their products come in 5.5 oz. I don’t know much about calorie intake given that I’m pretty much a lazy fat-ass, but all in all I consumed approximately 400 calories out of my 1866 calorie per day allowance with about 250 coming from fat. I also ingested, per serving (2 pieces) so multiply by 3 and a half servings (plus the blue cheese):

3.5g of Saturated Fat
15mg of Cholesterol
190mg of sodium
3g of Protein

According to Becky, a serving of the Jalapenos have almost as much fat as a whole Snickers bar - and a Snickers bar has more protein, iron, calcium and fiber, and less sodium. So, if you’re looking for nutritious eating, skip this product.

Right out of the box they look like any other battered and fried frozen product I’ve ever tried. They are shaped kinda like frozen mini drumsticks, and left behind the expected frozen fried crumbs on my cookie sheet.



Preparation is also pretty standard; heat oven, insert frozen goodies, turn halfway through cycle, remove, cool-off, enjoy.

After I flipped them in the middle of their cooking cycle, I was not particularly thrilled with the look of things. I noticed a thin crisp mark running down the middle of my otherwise uncooked Jalapenos. For a split second I considered just putting my hunger aside, and opting for a less threatening bowl of Basic 4.



Fortunately, when I removed them from the oven after the full cooking cycle they had cooked to a beautiful golden brown with a split down the top where the cream cheese and Jalapeno stuffing were deliciously oozing out.



With renewed faith I slopped some bottled blue cheese dressing on a plate and anxiously sat down to try my first Dollar Tree meal.



Breaking the first nugget of fried goodness in half the filling smelled incredibly good and was still bubbling, as I’ve found most good stuffed Jalapeno dished to do right before consumption.



Sadly, the first bite I took was extremely bland; I was only able to taste the blue cheese dressing I’d dipped the critter in. The texture was as expected, crunchy immediately followed by the melted smoothness of the cream cheese, but without any real taste. The heat of the Jalapeno was definitely present and I was pleasantly surprised that it packed enough of a punch to make me notice.

I tried the second bite without any blue cheese and there was absolutely no flavor to them. At this point, since my taste buds were still a little tingly from the first bite, the heat from the Jalapeno was barely traceable.



In the 4.25 oz. box you get 7 pieces for a buck, which is ultimately not bad when you’re just trying to get a quick snack (and don’t give a rat’s ass about nutrition) while watching a game or your favorite CSI soap opera. On the flip side, the product is too bland to consume alone, so make sure you get a lot of your favorite dipping sauce as well.

Score:

4 comments:

Elizabeth Collins said...

These Pepper Bites used to have actual cream cheese in them. They were quite good. However, now they hardly have any in them. This is why they taste bland now.

Jon said...

I bought these today thinking this was a real find, since similar ones are very expensive. Unfortunately, I bought 4 boxes, so that's 4 wasted dollars. These were absolutely horrible. The centers bear absolutely no resemblance to cream cheese, other than the color. It doesn't melt, it has a texture more like jelly. Seriously, I couldn't make it past the third one. I kept thinking, since this isn't a cream cheese filling, what on earth am I eating??? Bland, too; needing salt, too; but no need to mention that, since I'm recommending that no one buy this horrible, horrible product.

Javier Mejia said...

Yeah, i totally agree. These were pretty foul. Man, I should really pick up this blog again.

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