All posts by Damon Cap

Starkiss – Dairy Queen – Red, White, and Blue – Stars and Stripes

Dairy Queen Starkiss Vegan

The elusive Dairy Queen Red, White, and Blue Stars and Stripes Starkiss frozen confection. Well maybe not all that elusive as it seems the Food Network show Unwrapped showcased them recently, to which my mother replied “Wouldn’t they make a good dessert for the 4th of July?”. Well I guess they would, too bad all of the Dairy Queen’s are over 20 minutes away from us. She would not be deterred though and we made the trip yesterday to a Dairy Queen freezer for the limited time treats. See, it seems that you can not buy these anywhere else and at the prices they charge I can see why. As of 2009 4th of July Holiday they at $7.50 for a box of 6, which I guess is not the worst considering what you can pay for stuff at the ice-cream truck. It seems they do have the regular flavors all year round as well so no real worries on finding the Starkiss if you have a DQ out your way.

The vegan community finds these a real big deal as the PETA blog has given these little tasty treats the thumbs up. What I did notice on the wrapper of the limited edition Stars and Stripes version is that is says it may contain trace amount of milk protein. From what some Dairy Queen people are saying, the only reason it says that is that it is made in the same factory as some of the other Dairy Queen products, which is why they have to put that disclaimer on the wrapper. Either way this is not going to really concern most of the people consuming the product, but anytime you can make those vegans happy I guess it is a plus.

Let us talk about the actual product now . . . it is a three colored bar on a stick that is made to taste like cherry, watermelon, and blue-raspberry. You can see from the picture it is in the shape of a star, which gives this fun treat the name of Starkiss. The flavoring of the three colored variety is ok, with the cherry portion being my favorite, watermelon second and blue-raspberry bringing up the rear. I think in a treat like this, more natural tasting flavors would have been better to compliment the cherry, but none of the flavors was bad. I was surprised since I did not look at the box before I took a bite, that the white color was not lemon though. Watermelon and Blue-raspberry do make me think of summer, so that vibe of the treat is covered regardless. Really though the texture is why this treat is such a winner, it gives you a very good impression of ice-cream because it is creamy without having milk and rich without going overboard. It is also pretty low in calories so dare I say it could be used as a treat while on a diet? That is where the rich part of the Starkiss does well in satisfying a craving. I am going to go on some second hand information here as I did not get to watch Unwrapped where they covered this, but it seems that they can accomplish this by infusing air into the treat. Think of a real good italian ice that has been infused with air to make it creamy tasting. Sounds good huh, well that is what we are talking about with the Starkiss. Big props to Marc Summers by the way who is the host of Unwrapped and used to hold it down in my childhood with Double Dare. My kids thought the Starkiss tasted like fruit flavored ice-cream, so I guess that is as good a compliment as you can get from my two boys.

So the Starkiss is a hit in my book and it seems I will be loading up on the cherry varity next time I hit the DQ with the kids. If you want the Stars and Stripes version though you better hurry. You should check out the Dairy Queen freezer, I was surprised at what else they had for take home, but make sure if you have the coin, you do not leave without a box of Starkiss.

Note: I could not find a picture of the Starkiss on the web, so photo credit goes to me for taking a picture on our kitchen counter

My Top 13 Summer Sodas of All-Time

Top Summer Sodas

I was going to start this out as a Top 10 list, but screw it I needed a bit more room to include all the sodas that I enjoy in the summer or have enjoyed in summer past. Let us get this straight from the get go, these are MY top summer sodas, yeah I want to hear about what you think, but no pissing on Pepsi Blue cause that soda was awesome. Nah I kid feel free to say what you want about my soda list, just remember in my mind you will always be wrong. They are not in any particular order, but I will say that Pepsi Blue and Dr. Pepper Red Fusion probably top the list.

Pepsi Blue

My favorite soda, refreshing and an awesome glow in the dark weird blue color. It has a pretty unique taste so I do not know how to really describe it. The sucker that I am though I still have two cases of this stuff and will drink a can during special occasions like champagne. Usually it is for something pretty special though, like when I got married, or the birth of the kids, that sort of thing. It is like a carbonated freezy pop or something, and I always loved the blue freezy pops.

Mountain Dew Code Red

Really a replacement for the now defunct Dr. Pepper Red Fusion which I will talk about below, but it is always nice to know that you can still find one of your favorite sodas without having to look all that far. I like a red drink that does not taste like cough syrup. The only thing I would say is that I might like a little more carbonation on this one.

Dr Pepper Red Fusion

Second Favorite Soda ever, it is a shame but I almost forget what it tastes like. How about I just say it tastes like awesome. Really though I think I remember it have a great level of carbonation with a Dr. Pepper and cherry sort of taste. Much better than the rest of those Dr. Pepper conconctions. Berries and Creme? Could not even tell the damn difference.

Mountain Dew Live Wire

Orange soda with caffeine, it sure is a winning summer combination. The taste may be a little strong for some in the orange department, and it sure gets the engine started with the level of caffeine. This is a good one for when I am making a long drive during the summer or need to stay up late sitting on the beach. Also good when we travel to Hilton Head and I just can not get rolling in the morning.

Mountain Dew Voltage

Closest thing to Pepsi Blue I can find, but Mountain Dew messed it all up and added ginseng. Nothing says wack teenager sitting at the World of Warcraft keyboard like ginseng. It is totally unnecesary in this drink. I do like blue raspberry though as I soda so it fills in like a hooker would for a wife. Exciting but just not that same comforting taste.

Coca-Cola Vanilla

I love vanilla soda in the summer, I used to just add vanilla extract to my Coca-Cola then this came out. How this was phased out I just dont know, it was much better than the vanilla variety of Pepsi and one would think that vanilla coke would be universally loved. Like most of my other favorite summer drinks, it is no longer on the shelf in the US.

Pepsi Lime

Lime has such a better taste than lemon with regular cola I think. This was one of those cases where Pepsi just did a better job than Coke with producing the lime variety of its cola.

Pepsi Summer Mix

Ever mix Pepsi with orange soda while at a fountain dispenser at a fast food joint? Well say hello to Pepsi Summer Mix. A tropical mix with cola, and I enjoy it. See how I said enjoy, when it is no longer made? That is because I got smart this time, I horded like 10 cases of the stuff.

Sunkist Orange Soda

Too many family picnics and bbqs along with my dad dragging us to his company picnics to not mention this. Probably one of the first sodas i was allowed to drink cause it had no caffeine. Sunkist had one of the best tasting orange sodas overtaking crush in my opinion. This is like an icon of a soda can as well.

IBC Root Beer
One of my favorite root beers, I could also say Stewarts here as well, but I think IBC actually has a bit more of that bite that the competitors talk about. Also IBC is served at Chili’s and I used to rock that place in the summer. The only problem was it was almost as expensive as having a beer to keep ordering them.

Stewarts Orange Cream
I love anything orange cream, I used to try and mix orange juice and milk when I was younger. Guess what its not the same. Also tastes like the Bryers ice cream that had orange sherbert ont he one side and vanilla ice cream on the other. It is a soda though that is more of a dessert treat than a real soda. Smoother than a regular orange soda

Crush Grape Soda
Has a bit more carbination than some of the other grape sodas. One thing I noticed I like is higher levels of carbonation most of the time if I have my choice with a standard flavor.

A&W Cream Soda

Cream Soda is just so smooth, it has the aftertaste you are chasing. While there are other Cream Sodas that may taste as good, once again this was the one that made its way to the picnics in the summer so it wins on nostalga factor alone.

So there you have it, my favorite summer sodas. Do you think I left any out? Let me know in the comments section.

Holiday Gift Picks for Food Lovers

While the holiday season is officially upon us, the season of giving also begins to hit full swing. If you are stumped on what to get someone this year, try a special food purchase! Helping to take out the guess work, has asked winners and finalists of the 2012 sofi™ Awards from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT) for their most tempting holiday offerings. A sofi Award is the top honor in the $75 billion specialty food industry. Continue reading Holiday Gift Picks for Food Lovers