Somewhere, at some point in the marketing world, someone decided to mess with our favorite snack foods and introduce wild flavors. Some are seasonal, some taunt us forever each time we’re in the grocery store. Some are good. Some are bad. With summer 2015 leaving us before we know it, here’s a breakdown of a few of the summer editions of products I’ve tried lately. Which are worth stocking up on before they leave us until next year (if they come back at all)? Here’s what I have to say…


Martha Stewart Summer Edition Toasted Coconut & Sea Salt Triscuits– Everything about this is yes, except I am still questioning why Martha was involved. I enjoy Triscuits. But when I add “crackers” to my grocery list, I usually don’t purchase Triscuits because there are so many other options. Triscuits are dry and even the packaging encourages you to add toppings to them. Honestly though, I don’t want to. I just want a cracker I can eat straight out of the box. No plate, no cutesy topping designs. Just cracker. But when these popped out at me from the end of the grocery aisle, I didn’t think twice before throwing two in my cart (well yeah, the whole point of this article is what to stock up on). I may be biased because I love anything coconut flavored. But yes, these are perfect for summer. Sweet and salty is all the rage now, and these are certainly sweeter than the usual Triscuit. Though still dry, I didn’t mind eating (the whole box) without any add-ons. Even the box’s suggestion of an avocado slice on top motivated me to give it a whirl, but by then they were all gone. You can seriously get creative with these. Grind them up in your Ninja and use them as a coating for chicken breasts. Trust me, it’s amazing.


Key Lime Pie Oreos– I believe some snack foods just shouldn’t be messed with. Oreo is one of them. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy some of their flavors, but you know the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I don’t need to see a new Oreo reboot every time I walk down the cookie aisle. That being said, though, I was just coming down from the excitement of S’more Oreos when this appeared. Though the limited edition Watermelon Oreos are something I would like to forget, these Key Lime Pie ones are worth holding on to. They’re tasty, but I don’t know if I’d crave them if/when the leave the shelves. Remember- the cookie is graham cracker, not the chocolatey Oreo flavor that might actually taste great with key lime filling. Should you eat a whole sleeve of them? No. Will you? You might. Did you promise to make a dessert for a summer party and forget? A pack of these will do.

Side note: If you can’t find them, the Lemon Twist Oreos are also worth a try. These have a more citrusy bite to them then the regular Lemon Creme Oreos. Don’t confuse the two. The Lemon Cremes have a vanilla cookie, but the Twists have chocolate. Citrus paired with the chocolate is a very hit or miss combo, but in this case it is definitely a hit.


Chobani Watermelon– I’m a sucker for seasonal flavored items. I’m one of those people who buy anything and everything pumpkin infused. When Chobani released their pumpkin yogurt, though, I actually wrote to the company to tell them it was a bad move. But a summer edition? Well, that’s fine, because most fruits taste delicious in yogurt. People have been eating yogurt and fruit together for years before all these companies decided to actually put the toppings in the same package as the yogurt and sell it to us. One of the new flavors stood out- Watermelon. First, shout out to Target for always carrying the seasonal flavors of food products. No shout out to my local grocery store, though. The watermelon, at first sniff, didn’t smell any different than your run of the mill Chobani yogurts. But sticking my nose a bit closer, I’m reminding of kids’ Trix yogurts or Go-Gurts. It’s a sweet, artificial watermelon scent, even though Chobani seems to use all natural ingredients. The taste is good, though. At first, it seems plain but as a spoonful hits your tastebuds, you can definitely get a fruity, ripe watermelon taste. Not for long though, then it turns sour. I love Chobani, but I think this one will stay on the shelf next time I see it. Skip this unless you are looking for a good base for a smoothie, in which case this is an awesome way to include watermelon without the juicy mess.


Dole Dippers (Banana and Strawberry)– I find it absolutely fascinating that things like this exist. People- you can make these at home! And yet, it’s just so much easier to buy. Single serve packs, straws with flavored powder inside of them so all you have to do is drop one into a glass of milk…I love it (oh hey, Chobani Flips). Sure, pay more for the one-use packets of peanut butter because you don’t want to do scoop out a few spoonfuls into a to-go container yourself like you always have been! But maybe Dole Dippers are a bad example, because who really wants to melt chocolate by hand over a stove in the summer? These are delicious, no doubt. And if you’re craving something cool and sweet, it’s so much easier to grab some of these out of the freezer than a big bowl of ice cream. I say go for it, stock up on these. I have a hunch that these will be on sale at the end of the summer- buy one, get one free; get two free. Dole Dippers remind me of something that would be in the food section of Big Lots soon enough for 50 cents a box, if it weren’t for the fact that they need to be frozen. I’m not saying thats a bad thing. I actually avoid the food section of Big Lots for that reason- the items are mostly discontinued and what if I fall in love? I can never purchase it again! I do love Dole Dippers! Another fine dessert to bring to a party- but don’t try to lie and say you made these. Though you can make them, so fear not when you run out.


Tastykake Orange Donuts– I think it’s perfectly acceptable to eat these any time of the day. But I also highly suggest taking them out of the bag and eating them in moderation. The downside is the powdered sugar that covers these donuts. Don’t get me wrong, powdered sugar is always a great idea. But sometimes, it’s just too much. In this case, it is. These are also pretty dry. So the combination of sugar and dryness doesn’t lead to a good snack food (don’t bring these to a party). Have one or two in the morning with milk or a cup of tea, or a few packed with your lunch. This wouldn’t be on the top of my snacking list, or any list really, as I often don’t purchase Tastykake products. But like many of the items on this list, these orange donuts are a great little treat if you’re craving a taste of something sweet. My suggestion for next summer though, Tastykake? Do away with the powdered sugar and cover these in chocolate instead. I think a lemon cake would also work well with the powdered sugar. I ended up eating half the bag and then handed them over to a friend who was visiting. They’re also available in blueberry which I couldn’t track down and I bet I would love.

Tastykake Kandy Kakes Summer Key Lime– I was torn when purchasing these because they are also available in Summer Orange Creme. Since I knew I’d be talking about the brand’s Orange Donuts but I was also commenting on the Oreo Key Lime flavor, I chose a box based on which my boyfriend would be more likely to eat if I didn’t like them. Key Lime it is! If you’re looking for a Key Lime taste, go with the Oreos or the Chobani Flips Key Lime Crumble. When you bite into these you’ll see a thin layer of mint green frosting which is the “lime”. It certainly tastes like lime but sandwiched between the white chocolate candy coating and the brown cake, it’s barely there. The cake itself doesn’t taste like graham crackers. Maybe it does when it stands alone, but the lime and the white chocolate over power it. The aftertaste is strange too, sweet but can’t be described otherwise. It’s not lime, it’s not chocolate, it’s not graham cracker. It’s just a sweet taste. With a white chocolate candy coating, I think the orange flavor may have been a better choice.


Mocha Coconut Frappuccino– I run to Starbucks anytime a new, limited edition drink or flavor is announced. Why? I don’t know, because even if something isn’t on the menu, the baristas will still make it for you if they have the syrups needed. So, I could get this drink anytime of the year most likely. Their Mocha Coconut Fraps are like taking a bit of an Almond Joy, but without melting all over. They’re loaded with sugar and calories, much like everything on this list, but who cares? If you’re at Starbucks anyway, jonesing for a cool, coffee-infused drink, get this one.


Pina Colada Crazy Cups– This brings me to more of my caffeine addiction. Crazy Cups is a brand of single serve coffee cups. I’m lucky enough to live near a wonderful shop called OK Cups that sells individual cups and gives shoppers the ability to create mix and match packs. Crazy Cups is famous for odd flavors such as Chocolate Chipotle Mole, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Frosted Oatmeal Cookie and so many more. This summer saw the release of Pina Colada and Blackberry Bliss flavored coffees. The Crazy Cups website offers variety packs which is great for someone who wants to try them all (like me). I picked up the Pina Colada flavor and the pineapple flavor really comes through, which may seem strange to blend with coffee, but I think it works well. I’m actually very fond of most of the Crazy Cups flavors. If you like having coffee after dinner or later in the evening, a sweet Crazy Cup flavor will hit the spot. Pina Colada is definitely worth a try and I think it (and most likely the Blackberry Bliss) will be great to have on hand when the winter months come and you’re longing for a fruity drink on a warm beach.

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Brenda Hillegas lives in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia where there are plenty of restaurants and delicious smells wafting through her windows daily. When she's not busy working as the editor for the city's That Music Mag, she attends Celtic and Irish festivals, drinks wine and likes to craft. She's obsessed with pop culture and useless 80s-90s television trivia. Follow her on Twitter @Shamrockenroll and check out her Saturday Night Live blog

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