Dunkaroos are Back?

Remember Dunkaroos from the 1990s? The purple packet with cookies (or Biscuits if you’re from London) and some cake frosting for dipping. Plus, there had that fun cartoon kangaroo mascot with an accent. Of course, every 90s kid remembers Dunkaroos whether you enjoyed them or not.

1994 Dunkaroo commercial

A few years ago, I heard Dunkaroos were back. There were rumors that they had made a comeback at wholesale grocery stores (Costco and BJs and Sam’s Club). You had to be a member of an exclusive club to get a box of Dunkaroos. I’m not sure if they were ever even there or if this was some sort of lie the grown-up 90s kids were spreading.

Yesterday, at Winn Dixie I did encounter one box of (NEW) Dunkaroos. New style, new look, new everything. The problem was they were on top of some random boxes in the middle of the frozen food section. They weren’t yet set up on display.

No one was around so I grabbed the box and tossed it into my cart. I later noticed a hand-written code on the box. I also noticed that this was a display box, meant to sell each packet separately (I noticed this when I got home). So I wondered, Wait, how much did I pay for this display box? And, when I checked the receipt I was relieved to find out that I had paid nothing for them. Unless they were under some super secret code.

I scanned my receipt multiple times and found no sort of Dunkaroos or Kangaroo secret code. The cashier hooked it up, probably because she sees me each week. I saw her attempt to scan the box, but she acted like everything was good and tossed them into a bag.

New Dunkaroo Review

These new Dunkaroos are not the Dunkaroos I remember from middle school. The only thing that remained the same is the Betty Crocker cake frosting for dipping, even though this was a funfetti-style frosting. I remember having chocolate or vanilla frosting (maybe a cookies and cream one later on).

These new cookies are too thin and small. I even broke some when dipping them in the frosting. They’re like the Jesus cookies you receive at church kind of thin. If you make a product that comes with a dipping sauce, part of the R&D budget should go into making it so your product doesn’t break and get left behind in the dipping substance.

New “extra thin” cookies (biscuits or crackers)

They don’t taste the same either. The cookies don’t have the same flavor, but that could also be due to them being too thin. Also, in the 20+ years since we’ve last seen Dunkaroos I’m sure FDA standards have changed. Maybe there was some strange ingredient in the old Dunkaroos cookies that’s no longer usable — something to make them extra addicting to kids. I also remember different cookie shapes (including a kangaroo, a kangaroo limb and head). Now, they all just look like cheap kangaroo coins.

I’m not saying these are bad, they just aren’t the same. Also, if you want to enjoy dipping cookies in cake frosting I have a better idea for you.

Step 1 – Buy your favorite cake frosting:
Chocolate, Vanilla, Butter Cream, Funfetti, Birthday Cake…

Step 2 – Buy your favorite cookies, biscuits and sweet treats:
Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Biscoff, Nilla Wafers, Teddy Grahams…

Step 3 – Go home, put on a movie and start dipping all of your cookies
and treats in the cake frosting.

I dipped some Biscoff Plane cookies in my Kangaroo frosting.

Congratulations you’ve just made your own (better version) of Dunkaroos in 2021.
You’re welcome…

THE SECRET OREO AGREEMENT

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OREOs are known as “Milk’s favorite cookie,” but what, in fact, does that statement even mean? What does it prove? Nothing. Did all of the milks get together in one place and vote for their favorite cookie? Is this just the cow’s milk population or were all the new vegan and strange mylks (with a “y”) involved in this process? Should the cows have a say in this? There would be no milk without the cows, plus cows have brains and milk has no brains.

Of course, I know that the phrase “Milk’s favorite cookie” was coined by some “clever” copywriter from whatever agency worked for Nabisco at the time. I love OREOs, I’m just saying that their slogan is stupid. Milk doesn’t care what you put in it. Do you think milk has a preference for which cereal floats around in it? It doesn’t, but if it did, it would most likely be Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

CTC Milk

I don’t think that anyone was really bored of the Classic and Double Stuf OREOs, but it is exciting that they have tried so many new (some good and some not so good) flavors. I’ve always been happy with a Classic or Double Stuf OREO, but I started trying out their new flavors recently, just because they are usually on sale. 

During the quarantine alone, I’ve tried Tiramisu, Peanut Butter Pie, Toasted Marshmallow and a few others that I’ve enjoyed. I’ve seen the Cherry Cola and Peeps along with many flavors that I didn’t think were necessary. There’s only one thing that I haven’t seen from OREO, and it’s the most obvious combo of all — The Reverse OREO.

Sure, there’s the Golden OREO, which is just switching out the classic chocolate wafers for golden vanilla ones. We’ve also seen the classic chocolate wafers with chocolate creme. But why is it we haven’t seen Golden Vanilla cookies with Chocolate creme? I’ll tell you why (or at least why I think we haven’t seen it).

It’s those damn Keebler elves. The Keebler Elf mafia got together with the Nabisco (NAtional BIScuit COmpany) family for a secret meeting, in their tiny secret tree boardroom, many moons ago to make sure that consumers would never see the “Reverse OREO” on shelves anywhere. If there ever was, that would ruin the sales of My second favorite cookies The E.L. Fudge Elfwich cookies (second favorite after OREOs, of course). Because an E.L. Fudge Elfwich cookie is just a “Reverse Oreo” in the shape of an elf with some witty writing on it’s backside.

el fudge cookies

I just hope this agreement expires soon so that I can see the “Reverse OREO” in my lifetime. There was a time where E.L. Fudge Elfwich cookies came in reverse, with chocolate wafers and some OREO-type creme filling. The Keebler Elves could do that because they run the cookie world. They’re hidden away in their tiny tree offices where no one will ever find them.

Well, now this must end, because I have to go find myself some E.L. Fudge Elfwich cookies and/or OREOs to eat. So, please enjoy this fun video of the OREO project I was a part of with some cool friends in my time at the Ad School.
(Thanks Justin, Matt and Wan)

 

*No actual research was done for this article. 

**If the “Reverse OREO” aka Golden OREOs with Chocolate Creme has ever existed for even a small point in time I have never seen them, and I won’t believe you unless you actually bring me some to eat.

TACO BELL IS STILL AWESOME!

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Last night, I ate Taco Bell for the first time in maybe 3-5 years. And let me tell you that Taco Bell is still as awesome as I remember, except it’s better now. Lately, the only fast food I’ve been eating is Burger King. Anytime it’s Thursday and I get out of Improv class at 10PM and I’m starving, but don’t feel like going to Publix to get something I have to cook, I always end up at the Burger King drive-thru. Which was getting to the point that I had to stop myself and say, “No more BK!”

I’ve been dying to go to Taco Bell since they released that Naked Chicken Taco, but the bad news is that it’s already gone. Every time I drove by a TB, I would think of stopping, but then I would think to myself, Wait, will this meal even make it back to Key Biscayne without getting all sogged up and ruined? Because I usually don’t like to eat food in the car, I would rather eat it once I get home watching my recorded TV programs.

Last night I wasn’t even that hungry. I just had a weird day and felt that it was time for some TB. I arrived to an empty drive thru, with no cars in front of me and no time to read over the new, super massive menu. The voice in the box instantly asked, “What would you like,” and I replied with a long, “Uhhhhhhhhhh…,” as I quickly sifted through all the new additions to the menu.

I remember when the menu was so simple, there were some tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chalupas and a few other things. Since my last visit they’ve added a bunch of hybrid items like “quesa-ritos,” “double-dillas” and so much more.

When I was younger my order was very simple, “Three taco meal, soft, only beef and cheese and a chicken quesadilla.” Today, that would be too plain and boring, I needed to try something new, especially after 3-5 years of not visiting TB.

I decided I’d ask for three things and three things only, but what would those three things be? I first decided on a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, only beef and cheese. Cool Ranch Doritos have forever and always been my favorite Doritos, the purple Spicy Chili comes in a close second now, but never Nacho Cheese. The taco shell wasn’t overly Cool Ranch-y, but it still had enough of that flavor that I was happy with it.

For my second item I asked for a Quesarito, not knowing exactly what it was. I went with the spicy beef. I’m pretty sure there was cheese, beef, rice, sour cream and maybe some other stuff in there. It was mighty good. I guess it was a burrito with extra cheese that was put on the plancha like a quesadilla. Whatever it was I was satisfied with it.

My third and final item was the Cheesy Stuffed Gordita (or Cheesy Stuffed Gordita Supreme), with beef and no lettuce. I’m not sure which one I got, because I first asked for the Supreme and the guy said it didn’t exist, although I did read it somewhere on that giant menu. This was also delicious, although I waited too long to eat it and the crunchiness of the taco inside the Gordita was not as crunchy as I would have liked.

Why did I choose these three items? The Doritos Locos was always on my mind from the moment I first arrived and saw they had a Cool Ranch version (I thought that was an LTO, limited time offer, #FastFoodTalk). The other two were crunch time decisions. I was panicked by the voice in the box and felt I was put on the spot and had to order before an imaginary shot clock ran out. So, I quickly looked through the menu and said whatever items caught my attention. I also didn’t want to start asking questions about each item, “Now the quesarito, what is that all about?” And have to listen to this guy’s explanations of each item.

Knowing what I know now, about the super massive menu at Taco Bell I will definitely do my research before going back. I may study the menu to be prepared for my next visit. Maybe I’ll print it out and highlight some items that I am curious about. Either way, I will definitely be visiting TB some time in the near future (I’m not waiting another 3-5 years), and when I do visit I will be prepared.

 

What are some of your favorite Taco Bell items? (tell me by commenting below, and if you think you’re too good for Taco Bell, keep that sh*t to yourself…)

Culinary Critics

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There are some rumors going around insinuating that chefs are crazy. If you watch Kitchen Nightmares or Hell’s Kitchen or any Gordon Ramsay show, you may agree (I do not watch those shows, so I hope he’s on at least one of them). You might believe in a world where all chefs have exploding personalities and you should just leave them alone. I don’t think this is true and I’ll tell you why.

Last week, I began watching Chef’s Table on Netflix and I’m now on the 6th or 7th episode. If you aren’t watching this show yet, you need to start now. Take a break from OITNB and watch some Chef’s Table, then get back to OITNB if you really need to. I like that each episode of Chef’s Table keeps you jumping around the world following one master chef at a time (not to be confused with the Master Chief). Also, each episode is completely different from the last because each chef has a different story, personality and culinary style.

If you want to know who the real crazies are, it’s definitely not the chefs. Of the 6 or 7 chefs I’ve seen so far, only one was a little crazy. He wasn’t exactly crazy though, he was just an Argentinian hippie. Another one was a bit angry, but he did say he needed to work on that. So, at least he acknowledged his faults.

The real crazy people are the food critics who make a living talking about these chefs. Who are these hipster food scientists, dissecting each meal to write a column about it? And what gives them the authority to say what food is better than the rest?

I’m asking because I would like to have this job. Just eat food and talk about it, all day. I’d also get to create my own strange wardrobe by taking stuff from Urban Outfitters and thrift stores into a secret lair, then sewing them together and create a hybrid clothing line specifically for myself. According to the food critics I’ve seen so far, If you’re all about writing about food, you also have to be all about fashion, but not other people’s fashion. You must create your own weird costumes, that only you can pull off.

Maybe the food critics create these outrageous outfits in order to stand out when they come into restaurants. They want the chef to know who they are. I’m a critic, give me the good food! These aren’t this new breed of yelp reviewers, Chef’s Table doesn’t believe in yelp (and neither do I!). These critics probably attended culinary school, but not to learn how to make wild dishes. They wanted to be able to write about other people’s wild dishes.

Of all the food critics I’ve seen in 6 or 7 episodes, I think only one of them looked like an everyday human. The rest look like they belong at Mos Eisley’s Cantina. They aren’t weird-shaped or goofy-faced, it’s mostly just their clothes that makes them seem different. “And people always scared of what’s different,” someone said that in Remember the Titans (and probably some other movies too).

Since I’ve only seen 6 or 7 episodes, that’s all I’ve learned so far. Also, just from watching Chef’s Table my culinary skills may be improving. Last week I bought some sashimi tuna at the Fresh Market and I made a super gourmet, culinary chef experience out of it. I even had a beautiful presentation worthy of a Kaiseki dining experience. (Episode 4: Niki Nakayama – n/naka)
Watch Chef’s Table and learn some stuff…