Target Haul: Falling into the Season

 

I know it’s a popular spot for non-locals, but there really isn’t much to do in Koreatown other than eating and going to cute cafes. So when I got to Irvine, where there wasn’t much to do (UCI is great and there is stuff to do near Irvine, but most things require a car)my roommate and I would drive to Target. At first it was because we actually needed something, but soon, it became a place where we would go for fun and where we actually enjoyed spending time. Bad day? Target. Bored? Target. Free time? Target. And because the Targets around us are BIG, it’s so easy to spend hours in there, wandering around, going through each aisle to see what it has to offer. And although I’ve gotten busier, I still always manage to visit Target once a week, just to see if anything new is in. I particularly love to visit Target when the holidays come around. This week, I gathered up most of the fall related items that Target has to offer.

Apple Cider from Archer Farms

Maybe it’s because I haven’t had good apple cider, but apple cider kind of just tastes like a richer apple juice to me. (I’m not sure if it’s supposed to taste like that either.) But it did taste pretty good; it was decently sweet, and I can see myself drinking it on the regular instead of apple juice. I do think it tastes better than apple juice. But, it doesn’t beat sparkling apple cider from Martinelli. 

Rating: 8/10

Kit Kat: Pumpkin Pie Flavoured

It definitely smelled like pumpkin spice. At first bite, it tasted more like white chocolate, so I was quite disappointed, but after the second bite, it tasted like pumpkin. I do think it smelled more like pumpkin than it tasted. It reminds me of the milder version of the pumpkin spice yogurt cookies from Trader Joe’s, which I prefer. However, I do like Kit Kats and think them to be one of the superior chocolate candies and therefore, my rating may be a bit biased.

Rating: 7/10

 

Milano: Pumpkin Spice Flavoured

These do get some bonus points for having the fall leaves on the packaging. It smells a bit like the pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks, so I did have high expectations. It tastes mildly different from the milk chocolate Milano, but I couldn’t taste the pumpkin nor the spice. It may or may not have to do with the sugar coating my tongue currently, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.  I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t like it, and there are other flavours I would much rather spend my taste buds on. (Side note: I highly recommend the new Cinnamon flavoured Milano because it reminds me of horchata.)

Rating 5/10

 

Pepperidge Farm: Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Baked Cookie

It smells more pumpkin-like than the pumpkin spice flavoured Milanos. The cookies are dark orange and soft to the point where it was hard to take one out without breaking it. At first bite, I wasn’t quite sure what it tasted like, but it was definitely chewy. I love Pepperidge Farm cookies, but I didn’t like these. I could tell that it was supposed to taste like something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The cheesecake taste was missing from the cookies and I couldn’t find it in the chocolate chips either. I appreciated the attempt to be fall/Thanksgiving themed, but more effort was needed. 

Rating: 2/10

 

Hershey’s Caramel Apple Filled Milk Chocolate

I don’t really like the original Hershey’s bar, but I do like their special flavors, so I was really excited to try this one. I appreciate the packaging and the thought put into this: the chocolates are apple shaped and has a leaf stamped on it! The shape alone gets brownie points. While the chocolate itself isn’t that sweet, the caramel was. It hurt my teeth. I appreciate that there is a thin layer of caramel instead of there being a giant chunk in the middle. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, and I would much rather have had an apple shaped chocolate piece.

Rating: 5/10

 

Dove: White Chocolate Caramel Apple with Graham Flavoured Crisps

Contrary to all the milk and white chocolates from this haul, I’m more of a dark chocolate girl. But I also enjoy white chocolate every now and then when I’m in the mood. I appreciate that there is a variety of wrappers in this set and that puts me in a fall mood. The white chocolate didn’t taste too sweet despite that saying “Caramel Apple” flavoured. Maybe it was because my taste buds were too coated at this point, but I couldn’t taste the caramel apple, just white chocolate. The crispy pieces added texture to the chocolate which was highly appreciated. Although Kit Kats are my favorite, I think this one was my favorite from the chocolates and sweets from this list.

Rating: 9/10

Archer Farms: Pumpkin Spice Creme-filled Rolled Wafers

I love Pirouettes and all knock-offs of it, even if I can’t eat a lot at once. So when I saw this pumpkin spice version, I was excited, only to be mildly disappointed. The beginning had potential, but given the previous pumpkin spice flavoured snacks, I didn’t have high expectations. It smelled mildly of pumpkin spice, but it wasn’t too strong. That’s where the pumpkin spice ends. It tasted like white chocolate wafer rolls, but it’s hard to be disappointed by that.

Rating: 5/10 (lovely, but misleading)

 

Kellogg’s: Special K Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Cereal

I must admit that at this point, I was really tired of pumpkin and apple flavoured things and all I wanted was vanilla ice cream to cleanse my palate. But I still had a couple of things left to taste test, so the show continued. Fair enough, the Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Cereal smelled like pumpkin spice, but after all the other pumpkin flavoured items, I was wary of how it was going to taste. And I was right. The pumpkin spice taste is barely there and it mostly just tasted like frosted flakes. And then after a minute or so of being in milk, it just tasted like regular Special K cereal. I wish it had something else in there, like a cluster of almonds or something to make it more interesting. 

Rating: 3/10

 

Kellog’s Special K Apple Cinnamon Flavoured Cereal

It smelled of cinnamon, (and I love cinnamon) but I wasn’t excited, especially given how the other cereal tasted. It tasted a little better than the Pumpkin Spice one, but in my opinion, it wasn’t much better. It was very unmemorable: not bad nor good enough to be remembered or stand out. I appreciated that they put the apple cinnamon clusters, but the clusters didn’t taste like apple or cinnamon, so that was also a disappointment. If you do want a fall themed cereal from Special K, I do recommend this one over the pumpkin one. 

Rating: 4/10

 

Nature’s Path: Frost Pumpkin Pie Toaster Pastries

My first thought was that the packaging is misleading because the frosting at the top is thin and lacking. The pasty itself was quite soft, not to the point where it would crumble in my hands but there was a lack of a snap. The pumpkin taste was there; the filling consistency kind of reminded me of the strawberry Poptart filling rather than the cinnamon sugar kind. I do wish there was more frosting on top, but I think it was supposed to be a healthier alternative. I was too lazy to toast it so that may have affected the taste, but it was okay. 

Rating: 4/10

 

Archer Farms: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn

I love caramel corn. I know buttered popcorn is the go-to for most at movie theaters and in general, but my sweet tooth gravitates towards the sweeter options. It’s hard for me to be disappointed with caramel corn. And I wasn’t. The caramel corn tasted good, but like the other ones, it didn’t taste like pumpkin spice. It did, however, taste like cinnamon. It reminded me of the churro caramel corn from Popcornopolis. Unfortunately, my taste buds at this point were pretty much coated.

Rating: 6/10

 

Conclusion: 

Is pumpkin spice supposed to taste like cinnamon? Because that’s all I could taste from “pumpkin spice.” I no longer want anything to do with pumpkin spice and pumpkin. At first, I was disappointed that I couldn’t buy everything that was fall themed. But now, with decayed taste buds, I am glad that I limited myself. The only things that I would purchase again from this list were the pumpkin pie Kit Kats, Dove white chocolate caramel apple, and apple cider. But if you love pumpkins, this is the time to go wild at Target. After all, these are limited edition. 

 

[All photos from writer]