REVIEW: Chocolate Mix Skittles
Skittles are a classic candy that date back quite a ways (to 1979) and have enjoyed a modest amount of success by means of actually not being that bad as well as having outright bizarre and/or terrifying ad campaigns to support their product. Seriously, who hasn’t dreamed of planting a bag of Skittles into the ground in hopes that a giant rainbow would erupt from the Earth and rain candy on you? That’s seriously a wet dream for some people out there (Jared the Subway Guy, pre-Subway diet). Speaking of rainbows the fact that their slogan “Taste the Rainbow” sounds moderately homosexual is funny and I mean that in a tasteful way. Taste. Rainbow. Tasteful. Weiners. Hah. Back on subject, though, Skittles have come in a variety of flavors so awesome that I can only summarize the Wild Berry variety by saying “holy crap I am freaking out”; Tropical Mix is a close second. Sour Skittles are amazing and for that short period of time when Green Apple and Watermelon were flavors I enjoyed a few extra handfuls of the candies just because. In fact as I type this article I have a few “Fun Size” bags of Skittles tucked away in my desk… even though there is nothing “fun” about a bag of candy that only has somewhere around 8 Skittles in it.
Eventually you have to screw up somewhere down the line though and lo and behold Skittles finally hit a snag. In 2007 Mars rolled out “Chocolate Mix”, a new five flavor mix of Skittles based entirely on — you guessed it — chocolate (actually 4 chocolate and 1 vanilla but let’s not get technical here). On paper the idea sounded great I’m sure; little bite-size morsels of chocolate in a baggie is a wonderful idea. Actually wait a second, didn’t Mars already do something like this once before? Yeah, they did. Those candies are called M&M’s, and I’m pretty sure those aren’t a limited time only thing. Someone must have pulled a fast one and thought it would be funny to swap the labels on the folders marked “To Skittles Factory” and “To M&M’s Factory” because the only way I can consider a mistake of this magnitude being made is by the guy in the mail room at the Skittles plant scratching his head and saying “Well if it came from Corporate then they must be right. Let’s not upset them.”
I was at a dollar store a few days ago to pick up a few cheap snacks for a movie night and amongst the various boxes of candy I found this one bag of Chocolate Mix Skittles all by its lonesome (and likely far past its expiration date). There were no other bags of it in the store at all, just this one that had been tossed behind a display of conspicuous Tic Tac knock-offs. I tossed the bag of Skittles into my basket and ponied up the 59 cents (plus applicable taxes in the state of Texas) when the time came to checkout. For those of you readers who are “new” to who I am and my kind of off-beat humor I am no stranger to consuming weird and bizarre foods in the name of Internet comedy. I can safely say I’ve sampled well over a dozen bad energy drinks, Harry Potter jelly beans, Nutrisystem weight loss food, and even DIY teeth whitening applications that had the potential to end horribly just to make people laugh at my expense. It is with great pride that I re-introduce that brand of humor into the world with the newest installment of a side-column I like to call “Don’t Put That In Your Mouth”.
There are five flavors of Chocolate Mix Skittles: S’mores, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Caramel, Brownie Batter, and Vanilla. I will sample three of each flavor and score them in different areas based upon how poorly they perform their task of fulfilling my enjoyment of a late-nite snack. The criteria that the candies will be judged on are:
- Relevance: Is it something someone would think of when they hear “chocolate”?
- Flavor: If I have to describe this then you should just skip to the next article.
- Aftertaste: Does the Skittle have a pleasant lingering flavor?
First up is S’mores.
Relevance: S’mores are a campfire classic. Nothing beats the taste and aroma of a roasted marshmallow with a chunk of milk chocolate between two graham crackers. I’m not even going to make an inappropriate “sandwich” joke here because that’s how awesome this treat is. Fuck you. You cannot have s’mores without chocolate so to an extent this is quite relevant however the actual chocolate only makes up about 1/4th of the s’more treat, so I’m docking some points here. 6/10
Flavor: It has a hint of marshmallow and a curious taste that kind of resembles stale graham crackers with a hint of chocolate. It’s not bad, but it’s not anything to write home abou– uh, celebrate. 6/10
Aftertaste: It’s lacking, it just makes me feel like I should just make my own s’mores instead of eating these really bizarre imitations. 6/10
Relevance: Naming it “Chocolate Pudding” is kind of redundant all things considered; “Pudding” would have sufficed. If you tell someone “pudding” usually they will instantly think of Bill Cosby and by proxy they will think of his Pudding Pops commercial and thus come to the conclusion of “chocolate” (unless you as a 90 year old in which case they will say “butterscotch”), so this is a winner by association with a little help from incoherent babbling and funny faces. Frazzle snazzle. 10/10
Flavor: Have you ever gotten a bunch of Tootsie Rolls for Halloween and found yourself unable to finish them all? You leave them until Easter and eat another one and when you do it tastes all… stale… and nasty. They embodied that let-down feeling in this candy. It’s all gritty and unpalatable.. I think I’m eating cat litter. 3/10
Aftertaste: It’s not good. It’s not good at all. Make it go away. 🙁 2/10
Relevance: Adding caramel to chocolate works for Milky Way bars (which is the standard I am holding these to because Mars also manufactures those) but it’s not something people think about. What about Reese’s cups? Those have peanut butter and when I think of mixing things with chocolate I think of two things: peanuts and peanut butter… which is really the same thing so let’s just say nuts. Taste the rainbow. 5/10
Flavor: Do you know what that pure flavor syrup that they pour into coffee at Starbucks tastes like? I’m weird, I’m sorry. You probably think I just do shots and chasers of flavoring syrups now… that was a one time thing on a dare, I promise. It’s sweet, tastes nothing like caramel, and has this really bland almost bitter kick to it. 4/10
Aftertaste: I either just licked a pro ice skater’s socks or ate sugar and salt at the same time. 2/10
Relevance: Vanilla isn’t chocolate. It’s not even from the same plant as chocolate. It’s a popular ice cream flavor and that’s all it has in common with the cacao bean confection. What the hell is this doing here? 0/10
Flavor: Imitation vanilla extract is actually made from oak wood, Alton Brown taught me that. I don’t even know what kind of plant gave them this imitation extract but if I had to guess I would pin it on either crabgrass or poison ivy. 1/10
Aftertaste: Vanilla is supposed to be a soothing scent to calm nerves and establish pleasant moods. This manages to take that simple concept and crap all over it. 2/10
Relevance: Does anybody know anyone who makes any kind of brownie that isn’t chocolate? Because I don’t. “Brownie” translates to chocolate, but if you say that word in the wrong neighborhood you will be shot or offered cookies. 10/10
Flavor: OH DEAR GOD THIS ISN’T GOOD DO NOT WANT. 0/10
Aftertaste: where we’re going we don’t need eyes to see ;_; -10/10
That’s it, that’s all five flavors, and while things started out moderately pleasant they quickly spiraled into a sensory insanity of flavors that the taste testers came up with by mixing ingredients Jackson Pollock-style. I think Chocolate Mix is proof that the phrase “they can’t all be winners” applies to everyone. Microsoft had Windows Vista, Vanilla Ice had… well… everything, and Sonic the Hedgehog uh… well you see where I am going with this analogy. Chocolate Mix Skittles went by the wayside for a reason and that reason was because they tasted like the bastard child of Will It Blend and Dirty Jobs.
If you ever come across Chocolate Mix Skittles in your journeys… don’t put them in your mouth.