Great Geek Gorge #9: Pumpkin Everything


 photo starbuckspumpkin01_zps432eec38.jpgOn Twitter a lot of my friends have been tweeting photos of stuff they are seeing in stores like Fall themed snack cakes and Monster cereals. Every year all I remember is saying to myself “Halloween, already? It’s still summertime!” Usually stores are overzealous and jump the gun by a few weeks. I’ve been to every damn grocery store around here and haven’t seen much of anything reflecting Halloween yet, aside from candy. At the time of this post, none of my local stores have Monster cereals on the shelves, while it seems like mostly everyone I know in other parts of the country has already been bragging about having multiple boxes of them for at least a week. Maybe we are jumping the gun? Ah, f*ck no. It’s never too early to start celebrating Halloween or the Fall season in general. It’s the best time of the year. Christmas is great and all, but it’s too damn cold up here in Jerz. The Halloween season is perfect and I’m hoping we get it’s weather and it’s goods sooner than later.

If you follow me on Instagram you know what I had this weekend. I waited all year for it and damn did it taste good! It was my first sip of pumpkin coffee from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts this season. I indulged in both over the weekend. The Starbucks Pumpkin Latte is so far ahead of Dunkin Donuts’ Pumpkin coffee in terms of flavor. Starbucks pumpkin tastes like pumpkin pie and I don’t know if they’re actually murdering pumpkins out back to make this stuff or what, but it tastes awesome. I still feel a bit too anxious for fall to arrive though. The gross heat, humidity, and sick thunderstorms we’ve had here in Jersey this weekend makes Fall feel like it’s so far away.

I’ll be showing you a couple of things I did manage to find in a moment, but first, something I DIDN’T buy. Usually I buy two of everything regardless of knowing if it’s good or not. That’s a complete mistake because more than half the time, it usually sucks. I’m an easy target for gimmicky shit and limited edition crap, but this time I didn’t let myself get suckered.

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Take pumpkin spice M&Ms for example. It’s not like I don’t enjoy M&M’s because, what’s not to like? They’re little pellets of chocolate covered in a colorful candy shell. They come alive as wide-eyed candy mascots on TV too. All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t ordinarily go out to purchase a bag of M&Ms. On a rare occasion I might get a craving for a fun sized pack of peanut M&Ms at a vending machine, but I’ve been burned many times on the full sized gimmick bags too many times.

Any time a new variety comes out like Peanut Butter or Coconut M&Ms, I’m usually disappointed. I wasn’t going to be seduced by a cute orange M&M dressed up like a pumpkin on the front of the bag leering at me in Target. As I picked up a bag of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms excitedly, I was overcome by dejavu, and then I threw them back on the shelf, and walked away proudly. Not before taking a picture of course. I’m sure they’re delicious, but I’ll never know because they don’t sell packs of just 3 M&Ms just for tasting purposes.

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My best purchase so far isn’t what you’d think. When it comes to beer I don’t have expensive taste. I always prefer the middle of the road beers. I don’t enjoy ales or trendy microbrews. That said, I’ve spent the last few fall seasons buying literally cases of beer that went to waste because I wound up hating it. This year I was on an A-Team style mission. I visited all of my local liquor stores to find a pumpkin beer that I would enjoy the taste of and would bring to mind the flavors of the season. I realize that a lot of the seasonal pumpkin beers really work for many of you, they just aren’t for me. Drinking an ale makes me feel like I’m drinking bitter muddy water.

Since my taste preference is for the basic type of beer, I looked for a pumpkin lager, not an ale or IPA anything else that might exist. During a trip to the local Joe Canal’s, I found a 6-pack of Lakefront Pumpkin Lager and I was really excited. I brought it home and chilled it for a while. Later I cracked one open and was immediately smitten with the taste. It was exactly the pumpkin beer I was looking for, but where has it been all my life?

A little further investigation lead me to find out via the Lakefront Brewing website that it’s the ONLY pumpkin lager brewed in the WORLD. How the hell is this possible? If the highest selling beers in the country are the most basic beers that exist, why wouldn’t the pumpkin beers get a wide release in that same style? Who cares, I finally found what I was looking for, but what were the chances? If I never found this I would’ve kept looking for one seasonal style of beer that is nearly non-existent.

Miss Sexy Armpit and I each enjoyed one last night. The lager is brewed with pumpkin and spices and it’s definitely apparent. The consistency is smooth, and almost creamy for a lager. There’s not much effervescence and the head is minimal, but the aftertaste is amazing. It left a resounding pumpkin pie and spice flavor in my mouth. It’s one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve ever had. Snotty beer connoisseurs would scoff at this. Keep in mind that I am used to drinking typical lagers and pilsners, so if you are like me, then you’ll LOVE this. Now, onward!

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Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts wasted NO time hitting store shelves. In fact, they were my first purchase for the Halloween season several weeks ago along with candy corn and mellocreme pumpkins. To me, Pop-Tarts are rarely bad unless they are some zany variety like Wildlicious Wild Berry, and yes that’s actually a real flavor. These have a decent pumpkin flavor and they come through to fill the void in your breakfast portion of your fall lineup. I’ve yet to try them toasted, but I imagine they would be even better. Some people think toasting a Pop-Tart is grounds for the death penalty, but not me. I reserve toasting for special occasions though, and by special occasions I mean when I’m not being too lazy to get the toaster out.

Next up, we have the Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte. Tazo is now a division of Starbucks and this one of their pre-made mix cartons that you can serve either hot or cold. I prefer to have it cold, which is not only tastier to me, but also easier to prepare. Just pour equal parts milk and the latte mix over ice and whammo – you have a cold Pumpkin Spice Latte. Definitely a nice addition to the barrage of pumpkin stuff hitting stores.

Out of all this stuff I’d easily say the Lakefront Pumpkin Lager was my favorite purchase and I recommend it to you. Thanks for stopping by and come back to The Sexy Armpit soon for more of the Halloween countdown festivities!

Orange Cream Pop Tarts Limited Edition


Reviewing every odd flavor of Pop Tarts takes its toll. When my girlfriend picked up this box of Orange Cream Pop Tarts for me I was stricken with dejavu. Not a fatal condition by any means, but damn, after having too many obscure Pop Tart flavors infiltrate my body, they all seem to flow together. I’m now referring to my blood as “filling” and telling people that I’m not in the mood for their mouth because I haven’t been “toasted” yet. Fortunately, I’ve had the foresight not to let the “frosted” part come into play, especially on my hair.

If you’re a long time reader of the Armpit, you know that Orange Cream is a flavor that excites me. My hopes remain high for Orange Cream, even though many times they are shat on miserably. Sometimes you get a lemon, right? Not this time. These limited run Pop-Tarts basically scored an uppercut and said “AIN’T NO F’N LEMONS HERE!” They are a triumph for the orange cream genre. If there were an Orange Cream Emmy Awards show, these suckers would clean up big time.


If you’re a fan of the flavor you’ll enjoy the nice, mellow balance of orange and cream. Too often companies release some zany in your face limited edition flavor, whether it’s a soda or Fruit by the Foot, and it tastes terrible. Usually to blame for a bad tasting orange cream flavored snack or drink is its lack of flavor balance. If you’re bowled over by the offensive amount of orange in your first bite or sip, then you know it’s not going to be an orange cream dream. Subtlety is key.


The packaging is a bit curious. Would it make me happier to see a typical graphic depicting oranges and vanilla ice cream in a ’50s motif? Not really, since that’s been done to death already. I suppose I can live with the bizarre dragonflys, frogs, and birds, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with Orange Cream flavoring at all. Maybe Kellog’s is trying to say that these suckers are so delicious that they’ll make you feel like you’re floating around above some grassy meadow that has a garden that grow creamsicles? The packages intention was most likely designed so the super special flavor will greet you during those spring and summer mornings when you just can’t look at another bowl of Fiber One.

Orange Cream Pop Tarts obliterate the trendy/wacky flavors like Dulce Du Leche and Guava Mango (wha?). Regardless of their status as greatest limited edition Pop Tart flavor ever, to me, they are still just a “once in a while” treat. Even though they’re nearly perfect, they won’t be ones I’ll crave constantly which is probably why they were banished to the limited edition abyss. Frosted Cherry and Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon remain the pillars of the Pop-Tart fleet.

Pop Tarts: Vanilla Milkshake


Boy, am I relieved that Kellogs has infused CALCIUM into their morning toaster pastries. Never before has eating a Pop Tart been this exciting! Even before adding their new ingredient, Pop Tarts weren’t the worst choice for a fast breakfast. With the latest info that calcium may ward off colon cancer, you have the perfect excuse to eat these babies 3-4 times a day at a minimum. When you see what all the people at my job are eating at the cafeteria in the morning, these Pop Tarts don’t seem all that bad in comparison.

I’ve always been a fan of Pop Tarts, but more specifically, untoasted Frosted Cherry or Frosted Brown Sugar Pop Tarts. I feel ancient when I stroll through the aisle at the grocery store and see all these crazy variations of Pop Tarts considering I remember the days when Kellogs only offered about 4 different flavors. Now you name it, they offer it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they release Creme Brule Pop Tarts, or even Tiramisu. (I was just kidding but I found out they actually make Dulce De Leche) Clearly, Kellogs is taking this a little overboard, but the big push for exotic varieties in toaster pastries really makes the brand name Pop Tarts stand out on the shelves.


As a cousin to their Strawberry Milkshake version, Kellogs has released Vanilla Milkshake Pop Tarts. Whenever I go to White Castle, I have to order a vanilla milkshake. I’m not sure why but it’s just something about their shakes. I enjoy vanilla milkshakes so I was banking on these Tarts being pretty damn awesome. As soon as I got home, I poured a highball of ice cold milk, grabbed a paper plate, and ripped open the foil wrapping. Colored sprinkles were sparse, but the fact that they were there made me happy. I cut the first tart in two pieces and noticed the filling was pretty gooey and moist which was an immediate difference from the other varieties. The fruit filling is usually more of a paste-like consistency.

The flavor was dead-on-balls accurate! These things taste just like a vanilla milkshake! The milkshake flavor is authentic and the sweetness isn’t overpowering. I recommend them if you are a fan of vanilla milkshakes. Next I’m hoping to try Orange Cream, whole grain, and their Fiberrific versions.

What NOT to EAT for Breakfast at ANY time especially when you’re at WORK!!!

Yesterday at work we clearly established that there is one food that you should NEVER eat for breakfast. It’s gone unsaid until now, but it’s a food that is not considered a breakfast food by any means. There’s never been Fish flavored Pop-Tarts, Fish flavored breakfast cereals, or Fish Frosty’s. Perhaps there may have been Fish danishes, I’m not sure. But to my knowledge no one eats it for breakfast nor has anyone ever attempted it, until now of course. As I sat checking my e-mail I noticed a peculiar odor wafting my way. Other people smelled it as well. Eventually our financial analyst, who was sitting in the back of the room, (almost as if she didn’t want anyone realizing what she was doing) admitted to eating leftover fish that she brought in for breakfast in a little tupperware. That’s where today’s story ends.

Please don’t eat fish for breakfast.