Due to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club will now regularly feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mint Crisp M&Ms; and Wildly Cherry M&Ms;
Like so many other candy makers, the people behind M&Ms; have been fucking with the formula lately. They think you're like an old married couple, and that you require special gels, oils, and tastes to keep things interesting. Are they right? I can't answer that. We already told you about orange and "razzberry" M&Ms;, which delighted some and bored others. In the last couple of months, though, a couple more flavors have been introduced in an effort to woo you away from your standard milk chocolate or peanut M&Ms.; Thus Wildly Cherry and the brand-spanking-new Mint Crisp, the latter of which is tied to the new Indiana Jones movie. (I can't wait for the big reveal, when Indy says, "The crystal skull isn't made of crystal! It's made of mint!" And then he pops a couple of M&Ms; into his mouth.) They may sound familiar—there have been mint M&Ms; in the past, as well as crispy M&Ms;—but this appears to be a new beast. The Wildly Cherry flavor seems a bit more flash-in-the-pan, the sexy new partner you quickly realize you aren't that into.
Taste: Good news on both fronts, at least for the most part. The Mint Crisp ones are both crispy and minty—they have a crunchy, puffy center after you get past the layer of chocolate, and the mint itself is very strong. (And minty!) The shapes vary pretty wildly, some bigger than others and some strangely lumpy. And many have Indiana Jones-themed pictures on them, like a temple, Indy's hat, etc. But everyone here agrees that they taste like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, which is a very, very good thing. (Especially for Genevieve. The Girl Scouts had to put a restraining order on her; see below.) The mint taste lasts a long time, too—a good thing in this instance.
The Cherry flavor, on the other hand, got mixed reactions. There obviously wasn't any attempt to make them taste like actual cherries, so they taste something like those cheap, sugary cough drops mixed with chocolate. I actually found them extremely tasty, but I was in the minority. (I tend to favor fruit-and-chocolate combinations, though.) They're a little too artificial to be sustainable in the candy marketplace, but they're a tasty lark. The Mint Crisp ones—even though they claim limited-edition status—could last.
—"They're okay. The cherry taste is fairly mild. They mostly just taste like M&Ms; with a cough-syrup aftertaste."
—"These taste like cherry Tootsie Roll pops."
—"It's a really fake cherry taste that isn't good, but isn't terrible. I don't think M&M;'s have gotten the alternate-flavor thing right yet, judging by the mehness of orange, raspberry, and now this."
—"They taste like Junior Mints with a candy shell and a Styrofoam center. They're way better than the cherry ones, but the crunchy center is kind of a mood-killer for me. It's so obviously filler taking up space that could have been spent on further minty deliciousness."
—"This is making up for the fact that I couldn't find any Girl Scouts to steal Thin Mints from this year."
—"Mint plus chocolate is always a winner, and the crunch in the middle is a bonus."
—"They're good. The only weird thing is that I'm not sure where the candy shell ends and the chocolate mint filling begins."
—"By far my favorite of the alternately flavored M&M;'s."
—"I have no idea why these are lumpy. Are those supposed to be from mint chunklets?"
—"The skull on mine is too scary."
— "The mintiness is really sharp and bold. But it makes me so thirsty."
Where to get them: We got the mint at Walgreen's, and the cherry at Target.