The last couple of weeks have been pretty exciting for customers who like some really off-beat food products. Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew, TGI Friday's bacon-crusted ribs and a Stroganoff burger are some of the trippiest food products yet, and that's just the tip here, because with the holiday season coming on, the weird new Thanksgiving and Xmas offerings are popping up on store shelves and making the rounds on social media.
Here are five more best -- and worst -- new food products. Among the best and worst are lots of new Sriracha stuff, something slightly creative for the holidays from Starbucks, and places Oreos should never go.
5. Best: Pizza Hut's Honey Sriracha wings and pizza
So Pizza Hut has now discovered (welcome late to the Asian hot sauce party, rubes) that people really dig the spicy/savory/sweet flavors of Sriracha on everything, and that adding honey and Sriracha to their sub-par, overpriced chicken wings might help them sell a little better. Lo and behold, the smarties at the Hut have also surmised that their snoozy pizza needed a makeover as well, and tapped into the rich, popular vein of Sriracha to make a new pizza called the Sweet Sriracha Dynamite with chicken, jalapenos, pineapple, Peruvian cherry peppers (fancy-ish!) and a crust smeared with honey Sriracha sauce -- with a hot drizzle all over the pie.
Usually "hot drizzle" and Pizza Hut don't elicit visions of deliciousness, but this new pizza sounds not only edible, but fit for overconsumption.
4. Best/Worst: Personalized Nutella jars
Coincidentally, just in time for the holiday shopping season, we have one of the simplest and best must-have gifts for every middle-class white person in the country: personalized Nutella jars. In a moment of pure, unadulterated marketing genius, Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, has not only made it hip and trendy to overpay for cocoa-goo, but the company is now letting customers have their own jars -- with their name printed on the labels. Except here's the catch: the short-sighted doobers at Ferrero have only made the special Nutella jars available at an upper-crust department store chain in the U.K.
NOOOOO!!!!! This is really, really not okay. Think of the gazillion U.S. customers who will have to spend the holidays eating Nutella out of a regular, anonymous jar!
3. Best: Turkey and stuffing flavored baby donuts
Our friends across the pond have set some pretty high standards for little donuts: British Tesco's "Weirdoughs" line of mini donuts have included such taste experiments as salt and vinegar and cheese and onion donuts. Now Tesco has released holiday-themed turkey and stuffing flavored baby donuts, for Christmas, since Brits don't celebrate Thanksgiving. Okay, so there are worse flavor combinations out there, and these donuts don't sound any stranger than our Jones sodas holiday packs (note: if Jones ever makes the holiday smoked-salmon soda again, don't drink it, for the love of little donuts) but it is a mild disappointment that the Weirdoughs aren't more British.
Why not make more traditional Brit-snack donut flavors like bangers and mash, spotted dick, or fish fingers and custard?
For more great -- and not great new food products, read on.
2. Worst: Starbucks's chestnut praline latte
One of the things people really love about Starbucks is its penchant for tapping into holiday nostalgia via seasonal lattes. The pumpkin spice latte (you had four of them yesterday; admit it), the eggnog latte (Buckies tried to zap that this year -- it didn't go well), the gingerbread and Christmas-cookie lattes, and the ubiquitous peppermint mocha have all been stupid popular. But this year the new hot coffee drink from the Bucks is the chestnut praline latte, originally meant to displace the eggnog latte (don't try that shit again, Starbucks!). The drink itself isn't terrible, but it's not anywhere near as wonderful as the hype would suggest, and nowhere near tasty enough to usurp the beloved eggnog latte.
The chestnut praline latte takes like eating a bowl of Golden Grahams with a cup of black coffee dumped into it.
1. Worst: Church's new Oreo-stuffed biscuits
Church's Chicken, the place to go to get decent (but not as good as Popeye's) fried chicken and biscuits, has decided to take a break from not being at all creative to fool around with the idea that honey butter biscuits need something more -- that something being crunched-up Oreo cookies inside the biscuits, with drippy vanilla icing on top. These new Oreo Biscuit Bites will be available starting December 1, in five-packs for a buck or in a twenty-pack for $2.99. Or you could spend your disposable income buying something else, like a toilet brush or a three-pack of condoms.
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Putting things in biscuits is not a terrible idea, but cramming them full of Oreo cookie hunks sounds uninspired and the opposite of yummy. If this is the most menu creativity that Church's has to offer, then the chicken chain will probably stay in its fourth-place spot forever. When Chick-fil-A is kicking your ass, it's time for something to change.