Doritos Heatwave

First saw this at my local 7-11, but bought it at my Sobeys.

I’m normally not a big fan of spicy chips, my spice tolerance is pretty low. That said, I wasn’t sure what ‘heat’ really meant so I gave it a try at work. The first part of the chip was a nice sweet BBQ, it was very enjoyable. It takes around 5-10 seconds before the chip turns on you and becomes slightly spicy. I was able to tolerate this amount, so it wouldn’t be considered as a spicy chip to many.

Firework Oreos

Looks like I missed my May 1 post.

Purchased from Sobeys in Waterloo, ON.

I think this is one of the lucky times that Canada gets an Oreo flavour before the Americans. The taste is basically a regular black and white Oreo, but with pop rocks inside the filling. The first one I ate was eaten like a regular Oreo and no desired effect was felt. The second one, however, I left to melt in my mouth and it created the desired popping effect.

It’s a gimmick flavour for sure, it’s a welcome addition to the regular cookie but not one to weird out on.

Weird Passion Flakies and chip of the year?

Weird Passion Flakies

My blogging routine is lacking, but once a month still counts right?

I came across new ‘Limited Edition’ Passion Flakies during a routine grocery trip and obviously had to try them. Apple-Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice.

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I normally think if pies when I think of these flavours and having them as flaked pastry just doesn’t work for me. I’m not a huge fan of anything pumpkin flavoured and knew it immediately as I took my first bite. The apple-cinnamon was only slightly better, but it seems to taste more artificial than it should be.

Chip of the year?

I thought the Chalet Sauce chips earlier this year couldn’t be toppled. I was wrong. After having my parcels delivered to the wrong post office again, I stumbled into the Valu-Mart and noticed a few new flavours of their World of Flavours chips: Thai Curry and Turkey Stuffing.

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Naturally, I bought them. I don’t think I’ve ever had Thai Curry in its non-chip form before but this chip is surprisingly good. It has a very small hint of curry mixed in with a refreshing lime-like taste. It was well liked at work too.

The Turkey Stuffing one was okay. I won’t complain about the accuracy like I do with other chip brands, President’s Choice seem to know how to do it right. I just don’t think it works well as a chip.

Boardgames

I’ve played a handful of new (to me) boardgames in the past month and I’ll go through them all in the next post.

Lay’s World Favourites & Swiss Chalet

Just for completion sake, the 3 flavours from the World Favourite’s contest:Thailand (Thai Sweet Chili), United Kingdom (Cheese & Onion), and Canada (Bacon Poutine). I thought I had a picture of them but I can’t find it.

Thai Sweet Chili was interesting, it was not overly spicy and had a bit of sweetness to it. Personally I’ve never eaten any Thai food so I don’t know how to really compare it.

Cheese & Onion was probably the best flavour out of the 3, it tastes like exactly what it was advertising.

As always, I am disappointed by the poutine flavouring, nobody ever gets it right, not even the king of chip seasoning Ruffles. Bacon Poutine had a taste but it definitely wasn’t bacon poutine. Is bacon poutine really quintessentially the Canadian flavour? Poutine by itself is our national dish, no need to add bacon to it.

A few weeks later, Lays decided to release something that would have been a much better presentation of Canada.

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A Swiss Chalet exclusive (until November 1 2016), I am thankful that my sister tipped me off about these when these were released because they sold out quickly. It tastes almost exactly like the sauce, at least how I remember it. A bit of savoury mixed with a small amount of sweet in a chip, it’s almost perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it but this is hands down the best of the new flavours Lays has released in years.

Lay’s Passport to Flavor

I picked up the 4 new Lay’s flavors on my annual trip down to Columbus which coincides with the release of the new chips.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken, Indian Tikka Masala, Brazilian Picanha, Greek Tzatziki

Greek Tzatziki

In Canada, we had the tzatziki flavour before in a kettle cooked chip, so the taste was not new. However, with the wavy chips, something changed. It actually works a bit better as a wavy chip than a kettle chip.

Brazilian Picanha

Ruffles has a steak flavoured chip available here and I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was supposed to taste like. Ruffles usually gets the flavour right, especially since they specialize in wavy chips and can load the ridges with flavour. But for the steak flavour they had, I just wasn’t tasting it. The same goes for the Brazilian Picanha chips.

Indian Tikka Masala

I don’t think I’ve ever tried the real thing. Indian food is known for its use of spices and this one was no different. It was an interesting taste, a lot stronger than what I had anticipated. Out of the 4, this one is the most flavorful chip.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken

Another chip where I haven’t tried the real thing to compare to. There was a bit of a kick to this chip, which is always welcome but I’m not a fan of spicy.

 

The next post will be the Canadian World of Flavours chips, and a bonus flavour that came out this week that should have been the Canadian flavour.

Addiction

There’s a reason why there’s a 4 month gap between my posts, a reason too familiar to me: addiction. I might as well come clean now, this is what I’ve been playing for the past 4 months:

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Yes, my inevitable addiction to Diablo 2 has come back. It was 15 years ago or so when I first played this game, I was in grade 8. I played the heck out of it for a good 3 years and finally stopped in the middle of grade 10 when the game got a bit too boring for me and I really needed to focus on university application (the marks).

I’m not going to say those 3 years went completely to waste. I’ve met many friends during those 3 years whom I’m good friends with. Those 3 years also helped me figure out what I wanted to do in life. Long story short, I joined a gaming group and I volunteered to help with their website and eventually picked up PHP/MySQL and the love for programming.

I stopped playing shortly after the released the biggest change to the game: Patch 1.10, which introduced a wave of new character builds that I’ve never bothered to try because I didn’t want to learn the “new” game.

D2 Again

Fast forward 12 years and I see that Diablo 2 was featured on Awesome Games Done Quick 2016. I watched it a few times and I thought it would be cool to try it out. I’ve only played through the game once and that was not easy and yet this guy did it in under 2 hours. I’ve watched a few more of his videos and decided to give it a go. Obviously I didn’t get anywhere near 2 hours but I did it myself. The character that I played was an Elemental Druid, a build that wasn’t popular before 1.10 because it was rather weak, but 1.10 changed a lot and made them quite powerful and very easy to play through the game.

So, after playing through the game in Normal difficulty, I thought I’d try it in Nightmare and Hell (same game but increased difficulty). Unfortunately, if I did this in single player (not online) I’ll have tendencies to cheat and give my character boosts when I’m struggling — so I decided to start a new Druid on Battle.net.

I had finished my Druid through all 3 difficulties but struggled to get any meaningful equipment on him. I gave up on the Druid and uninstalled the game when I heard there was a new ladder season starting. A ladder season is basically when they move all of the previous ladder characters to join non-ladder characters and everyone has a fresh start. I figured with my new knowledge of the game, I wanted to see how far I can get with a Sorceress.

The Sorceress played quite nicely and I built myself a good amount of currency in game, I looked into other character builds that I never tried before.

My co-op student saw me watching more Diablo 2 speed runs during lunch and asking if I played. I said I play and we would start new characters off and beat the game together — something he had not done either. I decided to rebuild my Druid but with meaningful equipment while he started a Barbarian. Skip a few months and the both characters are done and with the best equipment.

Why am I still playing?

Absolutely no idea. There’s nothing left to do in the game with my roster of characters so I’m just wasting my time playing. I’ve decided that I will stop playing at the end of August 2016. When I was addicted back in 2004, that’s how I stopped myself, just quitting cold turkey.

Snacks?

Fine fine, snacks it is. Obviously I tried the Swedish Fish Oreos as soon as possible and the general consensus of my colleagues is that it’s… not good. It’s not like they couldn’t get the taste of the Swedish Fish properly, it’s just the chocolate cookie completely overwhelms and creates a horrible taste in your mouth. That said, I had to try it with a vanilla cookie.

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Out came the butter knife and the transfer was a success. White cookie + Swedish Fish filling is passable as a cookie, I won’t say it’s my favourite flavour but it’s more palatable compared to the chocolate cookie combination.

Ohio Trip

Long time no post, I’ll have a detailed blog post about the lack of updates. In short, addiction.

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Starting with salt, Lays has their world of flavors contest earlier this year and these were the 4 winners in the states. Memphis BBQ is a new flavour for me so I picked it up. The taco one is an oldie.

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Now to sweets, the big draw for the weekend was the Swedish Fish Oreos. Everything else was picked off the shelf if I haven’t tried it before.

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I’m impressed by the amount of Gatorade I haven’t tried yet. Didn’t go too crazy on the drinks this time around. The Iced Vanilla Java Mio Energy is probably the best out of the bunch.

Much longer post will be out soon with some reviews of the stuff I’ve tried.

Long time no boardgaming

It’s been a whole month since I’ve last attended a boardgames night with the guys at work. I missed one because I was on vacation to State College, and the others were missed because of horrible weather. But I didn’t miss this week’s gaming night and I got to try out 2 new games: Isle of Skye and Evolution.

Isle of Skye

The game has a definite Carcassonne feel to it mixed in with Kingdom Builder. In Isle of Skye, you build your own personal territory stemming off your castle. Tiles get added on in the same way as in Carcassoonne: terrains have to match on the edges, however, roads do not have to.

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You receive 3 tiles at the start of each round, which you reduce down to two by discarding one. You then put a price on the other two. That piece is available to all players at that price or available to you at that price if nobody is interested. After the buying phase is over, money is paid to the bank for whichever remaining pieces you have and you get to place your tiles.

Scoring for this game is based off certain rules chosen at the start of the game. There are 6 rounds with different scoring rules, the rules we were governed by were:

  • Each sheep is worth 1 VP.
  • Completed terrains of at least 3 are worth 3 VP each.
  • Each square of 4 pieces are worth 2 VP (squares can be counted more than once).
  • Each vertical column of at least 3 are worth 3 VP each.

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Knowing this, I optimized my territory to score a lot of points.

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I’d probably recommend playing this game again with friends, it’s not too difficult to explain and didn’t take too long to play.

Evolution

The goal of evolution is to see who can eat the most food. You start off with 1 blank creature and you place trait cards to give the create new abilities. Trait cards can be abilities like climbing (cannot be attacked unless attacking creature has climbing) or burrowing (cannot be attacked if you have enough food to feed your population), traits like carnivore (cannot eat plants), scavenger (gain a food whenever a carnivore attacks), etc.

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You have the option to discard cards to increase your creature’s body size or population. Body size is needed to fend of carnivores while population is needed to increase your food intake per round.

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Plant food is plentiful to start the game but as more and more creatures are around, plants become scarce and carnivores thrive.

The game probably needs another play through another night. We were able to get the gist of the game but didn’t catch onto strategy until it was too late.

Foods….

Foods from the last trip to State College are being eaten and will be posted in some capacity soon.

USA Visit 2016 #1

I made a visit to State College during the middle of March for my annual card game tournament. It’s also more than half a year since I last crossed the border for personal shopping and hunting weird American flavours.

Here’s a picture of the top half of our combined haul in the trunk coming back.

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I haven’t formally calculated how much I spent, but my estimate is about $200 USD.

Here are the salty snacks:

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In no order:

  • Doritos Mix Taco Explosion
  • Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs
  • Utz Chesapeake Bay Crab Chips
  • Utz Bacon Horseradish Chips
  • Lays Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Lays Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs
  • Lays Smoked Gouda
  • Lays Korean Barbecue
  • Pringles Bacon
  • Pringles French Onion Dip
  • Lays Lime (Limon)
  • Trader Joe’s Sriracha Lattice Kettle Chips
  • Trader Joe’s Partially Popped Popcorn
  • Herr’s Crabfries
  • Popcorn Indiana Dark Fudge Sea Salt Caramel Drizzlecorn
  • Tops Jalapeno
  • Tops Cheddar and Horseradish
  • Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle
  • Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks

My sweet foods:

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  • Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookies
  • Cinnamon Bun Oreos
  • Oreo Megastuff
  • Red Velvet Oreos
  • Cinnabon Cereal
  • Lindt Citrus
  • Crunch Snoopy Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Oreos
  • Twix Egg
  • Herr’s Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  • M&M Peanut Butter Eggs
  • Lindt Cookies & Creme Chocolate Sticks
  • Lindt Caramel Chocolate Sticks
  • Crunch Eggs
  • Chip Ahoy! Soft Chunky Peanut Butter
  • Big Sour Patch Kids
  • Mega M&M’s Peanut
  • Mega M&M’s Chocolate
  • Twix Eggs
  • Butterfinger Heart
  • Twix Heart
  • Snickers Heart
  • Trader Joe’s:
    • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles
    • Fleur De Sel Caramels
    • Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter
    • Cookie & Cocoa Swirl Cookie Butter
    • Milk Chocolate Truffle
    • Dark Chocolate Truffle
    • Cookie Butter Bar
    • PB&J Bar
    • Caramel Cookie Bar
    • Cookie Butter Cookies
    • Fireworks Bar
    • Uncured Bacon Ganache Bar

And the sodas:

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  • Dr Pepper (cane sugar)
  • Diet Coke
  • Trader Joe’s Brewed Ginger Beer
  • Maple Cream Craft Brewed Soda
  • Ryan’s Delicious Ginger Ale
  • Reed’s Ginger Ale
  • Vanilla Creme Soda
  • Mexican Orange Crush
  • Virgil’s Real Cola
  • Virgil’s Cream Soda
  • Sprecifer Root Beer
  • Ginger Beer/Peach Pear Soda/Root Beer/Pluot Soda/Cream Soda
  • Seagram’s Ginger Ale

Pretty decent haul, many thanks to my friends Marcel and Amanda for graciously driving me back home with the mountain of goodies. I will review them as I share them with the guys at work.

Boardgames took a 2 week break but I should be able to do a double post after this Thursday’s gaming session.

New KitKats and Cadbury Eggs

KitKats

Two new flavours of KitKats came out at the beginning of the year: Cookies and Cream, and Mint.

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I, um, purchased some. I love both the new flavours but Mint is probably the better of the two, it reminds me of some delicious mint chocolates from my childhood.

They also claim that there is a higher chocolate to wafer ratio on these KitKats. There is a Original KitKat flavour sold along side these two and I am tempted to see if I can notice the new ratio.

Oreo Cadbury Egg

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These came as a surprise to me since I was ignoring most of the Easter confectioneries because Valentines chocolates still aren’t on clearance yet.

My take on these is that there is too much frosting. I’m okay with the regular Oreo but there just isn’t enough cookie to make up for the cream inside.

At $1.49 per egg, I’d have to pass on these until Easter clearance.